Federal Relief Funds

The federal government has passed three major relief packages in response to COVID-19. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) all included funding for education. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is administering multiple grant opportunities from these three relief packages.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided over $2 trillion in federal economic relief to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The CARES Act provides assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries. 

The CARES Act included an Education Stabilization Fund, which created two major sources of funding for schools: the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. It also contained section 5001, the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which established $150 billion in payments to state, local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Select a fund at the bottom of this page to learn more.

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act

The CRRSA Act was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This includes additional ESSER and GEER funding and established the Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic School Fund (EANS Fund) as part of the GEER award. The EANS funds for the nonpublic schools are administered by MDE and have been distributed via an application in alignment with the federal guidance. This funding was intended to help nonpublic schools safely reopen or keep schools open. Expand the EANS section below to find application information and more.

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act

The ARP Act was signed into law on March 11, 2021 and focuses on returning to, and maintaining, safe in-person learning for all students.

The ARP includes $1.3 billion for E-12 education in additional ESSER funds for Minnesota to help schools returning to, and maintaining, safe in-person learning for all students. Per the federal law, 90% of these funds have been allocated to eligible districts and charter schools. The remaining funds are for use by each state education agency to create a plan to meet the needs of students based on community input..

Minnesota's ARP State Plan

On June 30, 2021, MDE submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Education on the use of flexible federal funds dedicated to education by the American Rescue Plan. An overview of Minnesota’s ARP education investments is available. Minnesotans can also read the full ARP state plan.

Allocations for Flexible American Rescue Plan funding - This $75 million allocation comes from flexible State Fiscal Stabilization funds in the American Rescue Plan. This is not part of the ESSER fund.

Federal Relief Funding Resources 

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER)

Application materials for ESSER III are currently available in the Grants Management section of the SERVS Financial system. Applications for ESSER III funds are due on October 1, 2021, and should be submitted in Fiscal Year 2021, regardless of when expenditures are planned.

ESSER I

ESSER II

ESSER III

Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS fund)

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and provides an additional $2.75 billion for the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public School Fund (EANS Fund) of which $41,697,717 was awarded to Minnesota. This funding is intended to help nonpublic schools safely reopen or keep schools open.

Allowable Uses. A nonpublic school may apply to receive services or assistance from the State Educational Agency (SEA) or its contractors to address educational disruptions resulting from COVID-19 for:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems
  • Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases
  • Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing
  • Other materials, supplies or equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety
  • Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress the virus
  • Educational technology
  • Redeveloping instructional plans for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss
  • Leasing sites or spaces to ensure social distancing
  • Reasonable transportation costs
  • Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss
  • Reimbursement for the expenses of any services or assistance described above that a nonpublic school incurred on or after March 13, 2020, except for:
    • Improvements to ventilation systems including windows to ensure healthy air in the nonpublic school (portable air purification systems shall be allowable for reimbursement).
    • Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
    • Redeveloping instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss.
    • Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss.
    • Any expenses reimbursed through a loan guaranteed under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) prior to December 27, 2020.

Non-allowable Uses. CRRSA funds cannot be used for:

  • Direct or indirect financial assistance to scholarship granting organizations or related entities.
  • Providing or supporting vouchers, tuition tax credit programs, education savings accounts, scholarships, scholarship programs, or tuition-assistance programs.
  • Subsidizing or offsetting executive salaries and benefits of individuals who are not employees of the local educational agencies (LEAs).
  • Expenditures related to state or local teacher or faculty unions or associations.
  • EANS funds generally will not be used for bonuses, merit pay, or similar expenditures.

 

Final EANS Allocations - 5/12/21

EANS Frequently Asked Questions—Compiled from all webinars, this FAQ answers your questions about the program.

For more information regarding the EANS funds, please contact EANS.MDE@state.mn.us.


More information is available on the Non-Public Schools Information page of the U.S. Department of Education's website. Find the Frequently Asked Questions - Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools Program document in their resource list.

  

Governor's Emergency Education Relief fund (GEER)

Based on feedback from a range of communities across the state, the Office of the Governor and the Minnesota Department of Education have identified two key priorities for which these funds can be used:

  • Expanding technology capacity to meet student learning needs, with particular attention to increasing broadband access, establishing wireless hotspots and purchasing devices such as laptops or tablets for students.
  • Improving student-to-teacher ratios for summer school programming to at most six students per teacher.

Application materials for this program can be found in the SERVS Financial system. Please use the application document, budget worksheet, and (if applicable) nonpublic participation summary, available in the Grant Management section of that system. The application addresses the entire life cycle of the grant, so applications should first be submitted for Fiscal Year 2020, not Fiscal Year 2021, regardless of when expenditures are planned.

Students Experiencing Homelessness funding

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students experiencing homelessness are increasingly under-identified, as learning outside of school building settings likely impeded the critical role of educators and staff in schools and LEAs to properly identify students, and these students have remained underserved. The purposes of the ARP-HCY Fund are to help local educational agencies (LEAs) identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services that address the multiple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeless children and youth, and ensure that homeless children and youth are able to attend school and participate fully in school activities. 
 
ARP-HCY funds are intended to support the specific and urgent needs of students experiencing homelessness, including reduced identification of such students, decreased enrollment in school, interrupted classroom instruction, and challenges navigating services for shelter/housing, clothing and school supplies, food, and child care. ARP-HCY funds will support the work of the designated Homeless Liaison in each LEA, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act, and build capacity in LEAs, which will help to identify greater numbers of students experiencing homelessness and better coordinate services for those students in LEAs receiving funding through this formula.
 
 

Summer Programming funding

$57 million in federal relief funds have been allocated to support students through in-person, academically based programs during summer across the state. This was divided into two pots, $53 million and $4.5 million. Please find details of both programs below.

  • Allocations for Funding to Expand Summer Learning  - 5/24/21
    Allocations for $53 million in Summer Programming funding for school districts and charter schools, based on in-person summer programming estimations.
  • ESSER II Expanded Summer Programming Allocations  - 5/24/21
    Allocations for $4.5 million in Expanded Summer Programming funding available to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) not otherwise eligible to receive an ESSER II award under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA).