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CARES Act Funding

Information on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and associated funds and waivers, including the Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act, which was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.

This relief package provided states with both funding and streamlined waivers to give State educational agencies (SEAs) necessary flexibilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief package includes $30.75 billion in emergency education funding.

The two main funding sources are the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund), which accounts for approximately $13.2 billion, and the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), which accounts for approximately $3 billion. This funding will provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.

New information and guidance will be added as it becomes available. If you would like to be notified when new information is available, please join the California Department of Education (CDE) CARES Act listserv by sending a blank email message to

CARES Act Funding Overview Table (DOCX)

ESSER Funds | Learning Loss Mitigation Funding | Reporting Requirements | Waivers | Other Information


State awards for the ESSER Fund are in the same proportion that each state received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year (FY) 2019–20. Each state must use no less than 90 percent of its allocation ($1,482,575,514) to make subgrants to LEAs, based on each LEA’s share of funds received under Title I, Part A in fiscal year 2019–20.

Includes LEA application for funds, use of funds, and preliminary allocations.

Learning Loss Mitigation Funding

The Learning Loss Mitigation Funding (LLMF), authorized by the 2020–21 budget package, appropriates $5,334,997,000 from three different funding sources to be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) in order to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures.

LLMF Web Page
Includes LEA application for funds, funding sources, and use of funds.

Reporting Requirements

CARES Act Reporting Application

CARES Act Reporting Help Page

Reporting Period Recipients Reporting Window Open Final Day to Report
7/1 – 9/30/2020 10/1/2020 10/7/2020

Obligations/Expenditures 10/1 – 10/31/2020
Projected Expenditures through 12/30/2020

11/10/2020 11/18/2020
10/1 – 12/31/2020 12/16/2020 1/5/2021
1/1 – 3/31/2021 4/1/2021 4/7/2021
4/1 – 6/30/2021 7/1/2021 7/7/2021
7/1 – 9/30/2021 9/30/2021 10/6/2021

ESSER/GEER Capital Expenditures Pre-Approval Application

The federal requirements found in the CARES Act require that the ESSER Fund and the GEER Fund be subject to the Uniform Grants Guidance. Those regulations contain a requirement that capital expenditures for special purpose equipment are allowable as direct costs, provided that items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more have the prior written approval as found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in 2 CRF 200.439.

The Capital Expenditures Pre-Approval Application Form (PDF)

Any capital expenditure that requires remodeling or renovation will not be approved.

This pre-approval is not required for CR Funds or the General Fund (GF).


Additionally, the CARES Act also provided for Secretarial waiver authority, under which the U.S. Department of Education (ED) can waive certain provisions due to the COVID-19 emergency.

A streamlined waiver process has been made available through the CARES Act and ED. Both the Assessment and Accountability Waiver as well as the Funding Flexibility Waiver have been approved by ED and ratified by the California State Board of Education.

For more information on these waivers, please visit the CDE’s ESSA web page.

Other Information

CARES Act Text External link opens in new window or tab.

COVID-19 Time and Effort Requirements

Questions:   Government Affairs |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
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