Emerging from the challenges that a pandemic caused K-12 school districts are opportunities to innovate and modernize curriculua and instruction, information technology, and building maintenance. While strategic collaboration and needs assessments look different for each community, there are some key guiding principles to follow when determining how to most impactfully leverage this funding.
Here are some key things to consider:
Congress passed three COVID-19 relief aid bills and the U.S. Department of Education developed the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to distribute money to schools. Eligible expenses dating back to March 13, 2020 include:
- Curriculum and instruction
- Information technology
- Building maintenance
K-12 school districts must spend this relief aid by the following dates:
- ESSER I: September 30, 2022
- ESSER II: September 30, 2023
- ESSER III: September 30, 2024
Like all grant and relief aid funding, inscrutable transparency is both essential and time-consuming. Equipping all recipients and fund managers with assistive technology to streamline documentation and reporting processes will provide them with confidence and efficiency to use these funds responsibly. This clarity provides administrators with real-time visibility on how, when, and who is using which funding for their intended uses. By improving travel, expense, and invoice management processes, K-12 school districts can bring the IT modernization that they need to best serve their communities through transparent fiscal management of American Rescue Plan Act funding now, and other opportunities in the future.
Learn more in our tip sheet: The American Rescue Plan Act and IT Modernization: Four Things K-12 School Districts Need to Know.