Skip to Content

Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER)


The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund was established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020. The CARES Act provided direct funding to state education agencies (SEA) and local education agencies (LEA) to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and in certain contexts continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. Of the ESSER funding each state received, 90 percent was allocated directly to LEAs through formula grants with up to 10 percent reserved at the SEA level for statewide activities.

In December 2020, ESSER funding was expanded through the enactment of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. As with the initial ESSER I Fund established by the CARES Act, the central purpose of the second round of funding (ESSER II) was to provide direct funding to states and LEAs to address the areas most impacted by the disruption and closure of schools due to COVID-19. Again, LEAs received 90 percent of ESSER II with 10 percent reserved by the SEA.

In March 2021, a third round of funding was added to the ESSER Fund (ARP ESSER) through the enactment of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. ARP ESSER provides direct aid to states and LEAs to help safely reopen and sustain the operation of schools and address the impact of COVID-19 on schools. ARP ESSER also contains additional provisions related to addressing loss of learning in students. LEAs receive 90 percent of the state’s overall ARP ESSER allocation, but must focus at least 20 percent of their individual ARP ESSER allocation on activities to address the academic impact of lost instructional time. Of the 10 percent of funding reserved at the state level, each SEA must designate a portion to summer enrichment, afterschool programs and activities to address learning loss.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and
Economic Security Act (CARES)
Coronavirus Response and Relief
Supplemental Appropriations Act
(CRRSA)
America Rescue Plan Act (ARP)

ESSER I
ESSER II
ARP ESSER

LEA Portion: $693,223,066
LEA Portion: $2,820,490,851
LEA Portion: $6,339,033,137

SEA Portion: $77,024,785
SEA Portion: $313,387,872
SEA Portion: $704,337,015

Total ESSER I: $770,247,851
Total ESSER II: $3,133,878,723
Total ARP ESSER: $7,043,370,152

End Date: 9/30/22
End Date: 9/30/23
End Date: 9/30/24

The documents listed below provide an overview of LEA ESSER spending across the CARES, CRRSA, and ARP Acts. Each document lists the overall allocation each LEA received for CARES ESSER I, CRRSA ESSER II, and ARP ESSER as well as the amount expended from each round as of the date on the document.