Learn about government COVID funding such as ESSER 2 and EANS for school districts, K-12 public and private schools
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) – Public Schools
The federal government has made it a top priority to open up schools as safely as possible while COVID-19 is still in effect. To accomplish this, Congress has allocated 67.8 billion dollars to support the pandemic responses in schools, and a portion of these funds will be used to expand in-school corona virus testing. This funding program is provided as a formula grant titled Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, also known as ESSER. This fund is available to public schools and public-school districts.
The most recent round of funding is known as ESSER 2. You can learn more about ESSER 2 by reading about it from the official correspondence from the US Secretary of Education or for a complete breakdown in simpler terms see our questions and answers below.
How much ESSER 2 funding does my public school qualify for?
Only 10% of the funding received from ESSER 2 stays at the state level, the rest goes directly to school districts. To see the exact amount each state receives you can use this handy ESSER state funding table provided by NCSL.
Approximately $1,000 per student is allocated for each K-12 school.
How can schools use funding received from ESSER 2?
While the guidelines for the original ESSER grant were broad, for ESSER 2 they have become more restricted. Public K-12 schools can use ESSER 2 funding to aid in reopening schools safely, to mitigate loss of learning during the pandemic and to improve the quality of air inside the premises. While the Department of Education is very specific about what the funds are to be used for, they do note that schools do have flexibility in the ways they choose to use their ESSER funds.
Outside of Federal guidelines, certain states have made efforts to give additional suggestions on how ESSER funds are to be used by schools; however, they cannot restrict school use of Federal relief grants such as ESSER 1 & 2 provided through the CARES and CRRSA acts.
Finally, all remaining funds from ESSER I must be completely used before a school can begin using funds from ESSER II.
Can ESSER 2 funds be used for school COVID testing?
Yes, Federal guidelines allow ESSER 2 funds to be used for COVID testing within the classroom, however, you should also confirm any additional guidelines provided by your state’s Department of Education.
COVID-19 testing for classrooms can be minimized by using an innovative testing method called “pooling” already employed by some public schools. When “pooling” is used all students in each classroom combine their samples to be sent for testing together as one sample, offering information on whether anyone in the class carries COVID-19. A 12-week “pooling” COVID-19 test program costs less than one tenth of the average per student funding allocated by the ESSER 2 grant.
If your school district or school is interested in affordable and easy to manage COVID-19 testing, GENETWORx can help. We make the process of testing students fast and easy. Contact us to speak to our COVID testing experts today.
How can my school apply for ESSER 2 grant funding?
State Departments of Education have provided guidance for the application process. Please see your state’s DOE website (list below) or reach out to the GENETWORx team for assistance.
Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) – Private Schools & Other Non-Public Schools
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), the federal government is offering Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) grant funding to eligible non-public schools in order to address the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). To accomplish this, $2.75 billion dollars have been allocated to aid private or independent schools throughout the country.
What types of schools are eligible for EANS federal funding?
Both for profit and non-profit private schools are eligible to apply as long as they are not also applying for or receiving the second round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) on or after December 27, 2020.
State Education Agencies (SEAs) are allowed to prioritize applications based on the number of low-income students and the impact of COVID-19 on the schools’ operations.
How much EANS funding does my school qualify for?
The Department of Education allocates EANS funds to each state based on its share of children between the ages of 5-17 who are from families at or below 185 percent of the poverty level and enrolled in non-public schools. The allocation per state can be found in this Department of Education document. Most of the funds are then allocated directly to the schools based on a formula used by the State Education Agencies which varies from state to state. For more information, reach out to the GENETWORx team or see the list of state Department of Education websites at the bottom of the page.
How can private schools use government funding received from EANS?
Private and other non-public schools, including independent schools, can use EANS funding for preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19. This includes covering the costs to safely reopen, continue adequate instruction, address loss of learning due to the pandemic, support educational technologies and reimburse certain coronavirus related costs.
Can EANS funds be used for school COVID testing?
Yes, EANS grants can be used for COVID-19 testing within the classroom. As per federal guidelines the EANS grant is issued to help non-public schools prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cost of COVID-19 testing in middle, elementary or high schools can be minimized by using an innovative testing method called “pooling” already employed by a number of public schools.
If your private school is interested in affordable and easy to manage COVID-19 testing, GENETWORx can help. We make the process of testing students fast and easy. Contact us to speak to our COVID testing experts today.
How can my private school apply for EANS grant funding?
Each state has a State Education Agency (SEA) responsible for the application process for individual non-public schools, most often the process is handled by the State Department of Education. Please see your state’s DOE website (list below) for additional guidance or reach out to the GENETWORx team for assistance.
State Department of Education Websites
District of Columbia
Other Federal COVID Funding for Schools
In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will award $650 million in an initial investment for additional COVID-19 testing in K-8 schools. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan is also working its way through Congress, which, if passed will allocate $50 billion in aid to fund COVID school testing and support the safe reopening and testing for students, teachers, faculty and administration.