U.S. Department of Education Gives Approval to States’ ARP Fund Use Plans
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education approved a batch of states’ plans for use of their American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio now join Massachusetts, South Dakota, Arkansas, Rhode Island, Utah, and the District of Columbia in receiving the remaining third of their funding.
While each state is utilizing their funds differently to target their specific needs, funds are commonly being used to safely reopen schools; support students in their mental, emotional, social, and academic needs; and address educational disparities exacerbated by the pandemic. Many states are using their funds to hire additional personnel, including school counselors and mental health professionals, and to expand summer learning and afterschool programs to mitigate learning loss among vulnerable student populations.
A total of 40 states have submitted ARP ESSER plans, and the Department of Education is expected to continue approving requests in the coming weeks. The Department is also working with states that have not yet submitted plans mostly due to state and procedural requirements to ensure the timely disbursement of funds.