Federal Relief Funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provides 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. 

This CARES funding includes an Education Stabilization Fund, which in turn contains 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 contains section 5001, the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which establishes $150 billion in payments to state, local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Select a fund below to learn more.

Application materials and budget worksheets are now available in SERVS Financial. See details in each of the sections below. Please do not use previously downloaded versions of the budget worksheets.

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 Nonpublic School Fund (EANS Fund) of which $41,697,717 was awarded to Minnesota. The Minnesota State Governor Office will be applying for the EANS funds for the nonpublic schools and will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). MDE is distributing these funds by application in alignment with the federal guidance on distribution. This funding is intended to help nonpublic schools safely reopen or keep schools open. Expand the EANS section below to find application information and more.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) 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 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. 9.5% of these funds are for flexible use by each state education agency to create a plan to meet the needs of students. As a result, we are asking for feedback and input on how the 9.5% could be used. The public comment period has been extended to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 21. Public comment will also be accepted in HmongKarenSomali and Spanish.

On May 18, 2021, Governor Walz announced that he will use flexible federal ARP dollars for programming that will support academic enrichment and mental health starting in summer 2021 for students, families, educators, communities and schools. These funds are separate from Minnesota’s $1.3 billion in ESSER funds under the ARP and are not a part of the public comment period.

Federal Relief Funding Resources 

Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF)

Coronavirus Relief Funds are a part of the CARES Act. Fund were given to state, local and Tribal governments to address and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $150 billion available, Minnesota received about 2.2 billion.

Minnesota created cross-agency workgroups to address statewide needs and propose funding for those needs. MDE received $244.8 million to support schools getting children back to school in the fall while prioritizing the safety of students and staff. These funds support:

  • Operational costs such as cleaning supplies and disinfectant sprayers, screening supplies, PPE, and increased transportation costs associated with transporting student in a socially distant manner.
  • Student, Family, and Educator needs such as technology devices and internet access, technology training, tutors or mentors to address learning loss, translation services, school-age care for essential workers, and professional development focused on learning models.

    A few key facts in the use of these funds:
  1. These funds are available for use from July 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020.
  2. Applications must be submitted in SERVS on or before October 1, 2020. Funds from schools who have not submitted an application prior to the deadline will be re-allocated to other schools based on number of historically underserved students served in their schools or districts.
  3. Funds must be drawn from SERVS on or before December 30, 2020; not merely encumbered, but drawn.
  4. Funds were allocated to operational costs (60%) and Student, Family, and Educator needs (40%) both on ADM and in historically underserved populations in schools and districts. Although allocated in this manner, they may be spent in any amount in either category.
  5. To spend funds from this source, an expenditure must be a reasonably necessary expense that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the expenditure must not be one that was planned for in the current school year budget.

 

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER)

ESSER funds are divided into two streams: a formula-based allocation and state-directed grants. Districts and charter schools will be notified of their eligibility for one or both funding streams. To receive funds, applicants must complete the appropriate application and budget worksheet, then upload those documents in SERVS when the system is ready to process them.

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.

The formula-based allocation to districts and charter schools is based on their allocations under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). These funds can be used for a wide range of expenses to meet local needs.

     Frequently Asked Questions: ESSER 90%

State-directed grants, provided to districts and charter schools that do not receive a formula-based allocation, districts and charter schools that receive less than $10,000 from their formula-based allocation, and districts and charter schools whose share of students from historically underserved populations is less than their share of other ESSER funds, can be used for a combination of:

  • Supplementing GEER funds for summer school programming.
  • Supporting mental health.
  • Meeting the needs of historically underserved populations.    

Frequently Asked Questions: ESSER 9.5% state-directed grant 

  • ESSER II FIN 155 or 156 Program Details  - 6/1/21
    June 2021
  • ESSER III 90% Allocations  - 4/16/21
  • ESSER II 90% and Partial 9.5% Allocations  - 4/1/21
  • 2/24/21
    Information and resources related to the nonpublic equitable services portion of ESSER

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.

  • Application: Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund  - 6/17/20
  • 6/8/20