School districts and open-enrollment charter schools in Texas may apply to receive their allocation of the $11.2 billion appropriated to the State of Texas for public education purposes under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER III) Fund. Funds are provided, supplemental to all other funding sources to school systems, and will not be supplanted at the state level. School systems can use these funds to respond to the pandemic and to address student learning loss as a result of COVID-19.
In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three stimulus bills that provided nearly $190.5 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. States receive funds based on the same proportion that each state receives under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title-IA. States must distribute at least 90% of funds to local education agencies (LEAs) based on their proportional share of ESEA Title I-A funds. States have the option to reserve 10% of the allocation for emergency needs as determined by the state to address issues responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided $13.5 billion to the ESSER Fund.
- The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), passed on Dec. 27, 2020, provided $54.3 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER II fund.
- The American Rescue Plan Act, passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER III fund.
(Information provide by the Texas Education Agency - TEA)