U.S. Department of Education Releases Requirements for American Rescue Plan Fund
This week, the Department of Education (ED) released interim final requirements for the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (“ARP ESSER”). The requirements cover accountability, transparency, and the effective use of funds, and support states in the development of plans for use of American Rescue Plan funds to support students and aid in the safe reopening of elementary and secondary schools.
As of last month, states have received access to two-thirds of their allocation—totaling $81 billion, with the remaining third becoming available upon the ED’s approval of states’ plans, which are due on June 7. ED emphasizes that the plan applications allow and encourage states to engage local stakeholders, including students, families, Tribal Nations, disability rights organizations, school and district administrators (specifically naming special education administrators), and more.
In addition to states, school districts are also required to seek public input for their own use of funds. The guidance from the Department also describes the criteria that states must meet to receive their funds, including commitment to civil rights protections and transparency and compliance requirements.