Frequently Asked Questions
Where do ESSER funds come from?
- In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Congress passed several pieces of legislation that sent billions of dollars in resources to states. Tennessee received, in total, $4.2 billion to be spent on schools across the state in three phases.
- The funds come from the combined Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act; and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
How does the State determine the amount of funding districts receive?
The federal funds from these grants are allocated through the Title I program, which provides funding to schools based on the number of low-income or high-needs students they serve.
How many ESSER grants has OCS received and how were they spent?
Overton County Schools was awarded funds from both ESSER 1.0 and 2.0.
ESSER 1.0 = $702,872.92
|Technology hardware to facilitate remote learning - webcams, Surface Pro tablets, and ViewSonic displays
|Additional personnel and supports (mental health counselor)
ESSER 2.0 = $2,767,127.37
|Facility Maintenance - HVAC energy management systems, remove carpet & Tile installation, floor scrubbers
|Additional Personnel and Supports - Employee stipends, summer camps COVID subs
|Curriculum Supports - All curriculum adoptions
|Technology Supports - Student devices tech upgrades, calculators, and software
|Transportation - 1 SPED bus
What are allowable uses of ESSER 3.0 funds?
According to the Tennessee Department of Education, the funds can be used for all expenses previously allowed under the original ESSER 1.0 and ESSER 2.0 excluding allowable uses under McKinney-Vento Program including and emphasizing:
- Any allowable use under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins); and Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.
- Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies (LEAs) with State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
- Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
- Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
Training and professional development for staff of the LEA on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of the LEA
- Planning for, and coordinating and implementing activities during long-term closures, including providing meals to eligible students, providing technology for online learning to all students, providing guidance for carrying out requirements under the IDEA and ensuring other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all Federal, State, and local requirements.
- Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and children with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
- Providing mental health services and supports.
- Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental after-school programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
- Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the local educational agency.
- School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
- Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.
- Developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the reopening and operation of school facilities.
- Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in LEA and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA.