Understanding ESSER I, II and III Disbursements

ESSER funds have been released under three different acts. In March of 2020, the first set of ESSER funds were disbursed under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security Act). In January of 2020 ESSER II funds were released under the CRSSA Act (Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act) and ESSSER III funds were disbursed under the ARPA Act (American Rescue Pan Act) in December of 2021.

In total, emergency allocations made under all three ESSER funds total almost $192 Billion dollars. In order to secure the funds, local education agencies (LEAs) must apply to the State Education Agency (SEA). All state education agencies must offer local education agencies 90% of the funds allocated. The remaining 10% can be retained by the State Education Agency to address emergency needs.

The ESSER fund allocations made to each state are based on Title I (part A) funds. Title I schools will have more funds available to them than non Title I schools.

So what can these funds be used for?


  • Training to address changes to instruction

  • Access to high quality instructional resources

  • Address supplemental learning needs

  • Addressing needs of students at rick

  • Addressing needs of low income, foster, and homeless students

  • Summer learning

  • Purchasing of educational technology to support student achievement and interaction


  • High quality assessments

  • High quality literacy initiatives

  • Evidence based activities

  • Parental support

  • Distance Learning

  • Addressing learning loss

  • High impact activities