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LLMF Frequently Asked Questions

Learning Loss Mitigation Funding (LLMF) frequently asked questions and responses.

Acronyms

Assembly Bill (AB); Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); California Department of Education (CDE); Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF); Community Violence Intervention (CVI); Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER); Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER); General Fund (GF); local educational agency (LEA); Senate Bill (SB); U.S. Department of Education (ED)

General

  1. Do LEAs need to apply for LLMF?

    The LLMF Application closed on April 7, 2021. The application was available at the Learning Loss Mitigation Funding web page and was due by August 5th in order to be included in the first apportionment.

  2. What are the allowable uses of LLMF? (Updated 26-Oct-2020)

    LEAs must use the funds in accordance with SB 820 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 110, Statutes of 2020):

    • Addressing learning loss or accelerating progress to close learning gaps through the implementation, expansion, or enhancement of learning supports that begin before the start of the school year and the continuation of intensive instruction and supports into the school year.
    • Extending the instructional school year by making adjustments to the academic calendar, increasing the number of instructional minutes provided during each week or schoolday, or taking any other action that increases the amount of instructional time or services provided to pupils based on their learning needs.
    • Providing additional academic services for pupils, such as diagnostic assessments of pupil learning needs, intensive instruction for addressing gaps in core academic skills, additional instructional materials or supports, or devices or connectivity for the provision of in-classroom and distance learning.
    • Providing integrated pupil supports to address other barriers to learning, such as the provision of health, counseling, or mental health services, professional development opportunities to help teachers and parents support pupils in distance-learning contexts, access to school breakfast and lunch programs, or programs to address pupil trauma and social-emotional learning.
    • Addressing health and safety concerns, including, but not limited to, purchasing public health testing, personal protective equipment, supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities and school buses of a local educational agency, and for other related needs.
  1. What does it mean for ESSER and GEER funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? (Added 7-Jan-2022)

    All ESSER and GEER funds must generally be used to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 29, 2021, ED released supplemental guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) to the pre-existing Frequently Asked Questions External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) published in May 2021 related to the use of ESSER and GEER funds to clarify “What does it mean for ESSER and GEER funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?”

    In the supplemental guidance, ED encourages SEAs and LEAs to think holistically about their response to COVID-19 in order to address the impact of lost instructional time from the pandemic on all students and to address pre-existing challenges that, if left unaddressed, will impede recovery from the pandemic. The supplemental guidance supports broadening how funds may be used to address the impact of the pandemic and lost instructional time and provides examples of allowable uses. However, LEAs must still articulate in their spending plans how the cost or need is connected to or impacted by the pandemic.

    ED also emphasizes wording from the ESSER and GEER FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) published in May 2021: “These Federal emergency resources are available for a wide range of activities to address diverse needs arising from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, or to emerge stronger post-pandemic, including responding to students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs and continuing to provide educational services as States, LEAs, and schools respond to and recover from the pandemic.”
    Please review the supplemental guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) for the full text and examples of allowable uses.

  1. When is the date that the LEAs must expend the funds by? (Updated 19-Nov-2021)

    LEAs must obligate the GEER funds by September 30, 2022, with a 90-day liquidation period after. Quarterly reporting is currently required for GEER funds.

    The deadline to expend GF was June, 30, 2020.

    The deadline for expending CRF was originally December 30, 2020, but was extended to May 31, 2021  through AB 86 (Chapter 10, Statutes of 2021).

    The final cycle for reporting CRF and GF funds as expended was the 2021 Fall Reporting Cycle.

  2. Do any supplement not supplant requirements apply to LLMF? (Added 4-Aug-2020)

    The CRF and the GF do not include a supplement not supplant provision.

    For the GEER Fund, the supplement not supplant provision may apply depending on how an LEA determines their equitable services calculation. Please review Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) FAQs for more information on how the equitable services requirement applies to CARES Act funds.

  3. Is the LLMF subject to the equitable services requirement? (Added 4-Aug-2020)

    Only the GEER funds are subject to equitable services. Please review the ESSER I FAQs for more information on how the equitable services requirement applies to CARES Act funds.

  4. Can Federal Stimulus Funds be used for CVI Programs and Strategies? (Added 2-Nov-2021)

    ESSER and GEER funds may be used for CVI programs and strategies to provide student support to re-engage disconnected youth and reduce community violence in places where COVID-19 has exacerbated inequities and increased community and school violence. For more information on CVI strategies and funding, please reference the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance, How American Rescue Plan Funds Can Prevent and Respond to Crime and Promote Public Safety External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and the Biden-Harris Administration’s Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. .

  5. What are some examples of allowable expenditures LEAs are using stimulus funds for? (Added 10-Jan-2022)
    The following are examples of expenditures select LEAs provided when surveyed about how they were successfully and thoughtfully expending ESSER and GEER funds. All example expenditures were necessary for the surveyed LEA to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Technology for classrooms and for every student
    • Maintaining and increasing classified and certificated staff numbers
    • HVAC upgrades and replacements
    • Additional portable classrooms and bathrooms to allow for social distancing
    • Roving substitutes
    • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Additional transportation
    • Contact tracing and testing
    • Attendance monitoring systems
    • Curriculum materials
    • Instructional supplies
    • STEM materials
    • Nutritional Services
    • Backpacks and school supplies
    • Implement or significantly expand sports programs
    • Expanding counselor and psychologist access
    • Social emotional learning resources
    • Parent and staff training
  1. How have other LEAs used Federal Stimulus Funds to support students? (Added 17-May-2022)

    CDE has performed outreach to LEAs of varying sizes and geographical locations to find and promote success stories with regards to how Federal Stimulus Funds have been used to benefit students. With increased funding from the ARP Act and other legislation that previously allocated Federal Stimulus Funds, many districts have used this funding in unique ways to help students. When contacted. almost every LEA pointed to three key areas of funding that have been incredibly successful: funding programs to mitigate student learning loss, increased funding for COVID-19 prevention, and expanded purchases of classroom technology. Allocating funds to address the impact of lost instructional time through after-school and summer school programs have created opportunities for increased academic success and learning loss mitigation. Mitigating COVID-19 transmission at school has been a near-universal funding focus, with LEAs allocating funds to increase air filtration, testing, and other mitigation measures. LEAs throughout the state have also purchased computers and tablets while also spending more funds on implementing high-speed internet on campuses. These purchases have decreased the technology access gap among students.

    Unique Programs specific LEAs have implemented in response to COVID-19

    • Hiring outside consultants to study equity within the LEA and offer suggestions to address learning loss for students who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Hiring more staff, specifically more psychologists coupled with increased mental health services, to ensure students with mental health issues are effectively served.
    • Increased special education funding to ensure special education students who were severely impacted by online learning can be helped.
    • Increased mental health services funding, as there has been an increase in mental health needs among students.
    • Literacy acceleration programs to ensure students acquire necessary literacy skills inside the classroom.

Funding

  1. Will the CDE post preliminary allocations?

    Yes, the CDE has posted LEAs' preliminary allocations on the Learning Loss Mitigation Funding web page.

  2. Are there different formulas in how funds will be distributed to LEAs?

    Yes, there are three different funding formulas that will make up the distribution to LEAs, information can be found on the Learning Loss Mitigation Funding web page.

  3. Are newly operational charter schools eligible?

    Newly operational charter schools are not eligible for LLMF. These charter schools do not generate an allocation because the data elements are based on prior year, and there is no provision in statute to fund new charter schools on current year.

Reporting

  1. Will LEAs be required to report to CDE on these funds? (Updated 26-Oct-2020)

    Yes, the CDE requires LEAs to report on the use of funds. Please refer to the CARES Act Reporting Requirements for the reporting application, help page, and reporting window information.

  2. What should an LEA do if it is using CRF on devices but will not receive those devices by the May 31, 2021 CRF expenditure deadline? (Updated 19-Nov-2021)

    It is not necessary for LEAs to receive devices by the May 31, 2021 expenditure deadline, provided the devices at the time the order is placed are expected to be received by May 31, 2021, and delays are due to supply chain interruptions beyond the control of the LEA. In these circumstances, LEAs may use CRF to pay for goods within 90 days of receipt.

    LEAs should not order devices late in the covered period (the covered period being March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021) that at the time the order is placed devices are not expected to be received by May 31, 2021.

    CDE is required by statute to perform collection procedures to recoup any remaining Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) that were unexpended or unobligated by May 31, 2021. Since the 2021 Fall reporting period was the final opportunity to report on CRF expenditures, all obligations must have been liquidated by the end of the reporting window on October 6, 2021.

  3. Can an LEA use the $500 per student presumption referenced in the October 19, 2020 U.S. Treasury CRF FAQs? (Updated 19-Mar-2021)

    In the October 19, 2020 FAQs outlining the allowable expenses for CRF, the U.S. Department of Treasury states in FAQ #53 External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) “as an administrative convenience, Treasury will presume that expenses of up to $500 per elementary and secondary school student are eligible expenditures, such that schools do not need to document the specific use of funds up to that amount.”

    It is important to note that this guidance only relates to CRF (not ESSER, GEER, or GF). CDE recommends that the $500 per student allowability should be based on 2020–21 enrollment as reported and certified in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System as of October 2020.

    For LEAs that received $500 per student or less in CRF:

    You may use this option but must ensure that funds are still spent in the required timeframe of March 1, 2020–May 31, 2021.

    For the CRF reporting in the CARES Act system, when reporting in the exact dollars section, an LEA that meets this threshold would enter expenditures and/or obligations in the “Facilitating Distance Learning” category and list what funds have been obligated or expended.

    For the percentages section, LEAs should calculate the expenditures by percentage and enter them into the proper category to meet the state required LLMF reporting.

    LEAs are not required to adjust their reported expenditures if they have already reported the entirety of their CRF in the CARES Act system. If they have not expended or obligated all of their funds yet, they may choose to leave their previous reporting as is or move the previous expenditures into the “Facilitating Distance Learning” category.

    For LEAs that received more than $500 per student in CRF:

    Treasury also specifies that schools may for certain expenditures exceed the $500 per student. These expenses are limited to specified expenses discussed below and require additional documentation and detailed reporting. As such, the reporting approach falls into two categories based on the amount per student.

    Consistent with U.S. Treasury guidance, an LEA that received more than $500 CRF per student may use the administrative convenience of up to $500/per student presumption AND may use any amount above $500 per student for the following limited expenses for the purpose of addressing COVID-19:

    • Expanding broadband capacity;
    • Hiring new teachers;
    • Developing an online curriculum;
    • Acquiring computers and similar digital devices;
    • Acquiring and installing additional ventilation or other air filtering equipment;
    • Incurring additional transportation costs; or
    • Incurring additional costs of providing meals.

    In other words, if taking advantage of the flexibility, the LEA must use the CRF in excess of the $500/per student threshold only on the seven activities outlined above. These funds must also be spent in the required timeframe of March 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021.

    NOTE: The CDE recommends LEAs be cautious in using this allowability. This allowability will not absolve LEAs of the need to maintain documentation for all funds used above the $500 per student allowability. For funds above $500 per student, LEAs will be required to maintain documentation to substantiate:

    • The information reported to CDE on expenditure of CRF in each category.
    • That the LEA used CRF only during the period of availability.
    • The LEA used its CRF in accordance with state requirements as outlined in SB 98 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) LLMF.
    • Any funds received above $500 per student are used in accordance with federal requirements.

    If an LEA decides to still use this option, when reporting in the exact dollars section, an LEA would enter the eligible expenditure (up to $500 per student) in the “Facilitating Distance Learning” category and list what funds have been obligated or expended. For any funds beyond that, they must be listed in the appropriate category that they correspond to (Note: some of these excess funds may still be listed in the “Facilitating Distance Learning Category”).

    For the percentages section, LEAs should calculate the expenditures by percentage and enter them into the proper category to meet the state required LLMFreporting.

Vaccinations

  1. Can ESSER and GEER funds be used to conduct vaccine clinics? (Added 13-Jul-2021)

    ESSER and GEER funds may be used to facilitate vaccine clinics for staff, eligible students and household members. ESSER and GEER funds may be used to help implement public health protocols. Other vaccination outreach efforts are also allowable under ESSER and GEER. This can include public awareness campaigns and vaccine incentive programs. Please reference the On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) for more information on how to facilitate a clinic.

  2. Are administrative costs associated with providing vaccinations allowable under ESSER and GEER funds? (Added 13-Jul-2021)

    Reasonable administrative costs are allowable when associated with obtaining vaccinations.

  3. Can we give students incentives for getting vaccinated? (Added 13-Jul-2021)

    Incentives are allowable under GEER and ESSER, provided they are reasonable in size and scope and likely to lead to an increase in the rate of vaccinations. Examples include nominal gift cards to each vaccinated student, prize drawings for tablets, new school supplies, college scholarship money, and reasonable cash awards. Any incentives provided by an LEA must meet the requirements in 2 CFR Part 200, including the requirement that the amount of the incentive be reasonable and may not violate any other applicable laws or requirements (e.g., incentives may not involve alcohol per 2 CFR § 200.423).

  4. Is it just students or can families get vaccinated at an ESSER or GEER funded vaccination clinic? (Added 13-Jul-2021)

    Students, staff and household members can receive vaccinations from a LEA facilitated clinic.

  5. Is COVID-19 screening and testing allowable under ESSER and GEER? (Added 13-Jul-2021)

    COVID-19 screening and testing is an allowable use of ESSER and GEER funds, as it is part of implementing public health protocols. Consultation with state and local health officials is key to ensure the adequacy of any COVID-19 testing program and that all applicable laws and requirements are being followed.

Transportation

  1. May an LEA use ESSER or GEER funds to provide transportation for students to and from school? (Added 18-Nov-2021)

    Yes. Supporting or providing transportation services for students is an allowable use of funds under ESSER and GEER as long as the need is related to COVID-19 (e.g., to support daily attendance at school to address the impact of lost instructional time) and the cost is reasonable and necessary. This could include, but is not limited to, transportation services provided directly by the school district; the cost of public transportation services (e.g., bus or subway fare); taxis, rideshare apps, or other driving services; or compensation to parents for providing transportation services for their children.

    This FAQ is from the U.S. Department of Education's FAQs on Transportation External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

  2. May an LEA use ESSER or GEER funds to provide transportation for students participating in after-school learning and enrichment activities provided by the LEA? (Added 18-Nov-2021)

    Yes. If activities take place away from the school or after regular transportation home has occurred and are intended to address student needs related to COVID-19 (e.g., to address the impact of lost instructional time), and the cost is reasonable and necessary, transportation may be an allowable use of ESSER or GEER funds. For example, an LEA may provide before- and after-school learning and enrichment activities for students including, for example, high dosage evidence-based tutoring to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, and other activities that address the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students, including extended school year or other compensatory and related services for eligible students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Reasonable and necessary costs of transportation to and from such activities would be an allowable use of ESSER and GEER funds.

    This FAQ is from the U.S. Department of Education's FAQs on Transportation External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

  3. May an LEA use ESSER or GEER funds to address a shortage of school bus drivers due to the pandemic? (Added 18-Nov-2021)

    Yes. For example, an LEA may use ESSER or GEER funds for retention bonuses for current bus drivers, for salary increases, or for the cost of hiring additional bus drivers to address the shortage of bus drivers due to the pandemic. Similarly, if an LEA is operating more bus routes due to physical distancing, funds may be used to hire additional bus drivers. In addition, funds may be used to pay for the costs associated with obtaining a commercial driver’s license for new bus drivers, including the required training.

    This FAQ is from the U.S. Department of Education's FAQs on Transportation External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

  4. May an LEA facing a shortage of school bus drivers use ESSER or GEER funds to compensate parents or guardians for transporting their students to and from school? (Added 18-Nov-2021)

    Yes. ESSER or GEER funds may be used to reimburse parents or guardians for transportation costs or to offer a stipend for transportation costs, as long as they are reasonable and necessary. This type of program may be appropriate to sustain in-person instruction if an LEA is experiencing challenges hiring and/or retaining the school bus drivers necessary to accommodate the LEA’s transportation needs. Before compensating parents or guardians for transportation costs, an LEA must develop clear, objective procedures that, in addition to other relevant factors, consider: the number of days of transportation provided for in-person attendance; documentation of the travel costs to ensure that the compensation is used only for transportation-related expenses; and a process to account for any ESSER or GEER funds that were paid to parents or guardians but not used for transportation costs.

    This FAQ is from the U.S. Department of Education's FAQs on Transportation External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Questions:   CDE Federal Stimulus Team | EDReliefFunds@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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  • Learning Loss Mitigation Funding
    Funds for local educational agencies (LEAs) to support academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures.
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