Georgia’s state plan for the remainder of its federal stimulus funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP – ESSER) was approved this week by the U.S. Department of Education, bringing an additional $1.4 billion to support K-12 schools in the state.
Of this round of ARP funding, 90 percent ($3,827,188,522) will be allocated directly to school districts by the state. A total of $425,243,169 will be used to address statewide needs, as required by the federal legislation. School districts are required by federal law to spend 20 percent of their ARP funds to address learning loss; the state is required to use 5 percent of its funds to address learning loss, 1 percent to support summer enrichment, and 1 percent to support afterschool programs.
At the state level, Georgia will use its ARP funds to address lost learning opportunities, remove barriers to learning, and personalize supports for students, schools, and educators.
“We are focused on supporting learning, expanding resources for student mental health and wellbeing, and ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We will use these funds to deploy state-level Academic Recovery Specialists, establish school-based health clinics, and more – the resources we’ve been given will directly support schools and students.”
Highlights of Georgia’s ARP ESSER State Plan (click here for more)
- Providing state- and regional-level Academic Recovery Specialists to help school leaders and educators address gaps in learning
- Increasing summer and afterschool learning in partnership with the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network
- Adding state-level support for school nurses, school psychologists, school social workers, wraparound services, and military families
- Establishing school-based health clinics for students in rural areas and partnering to expand hearing, vision, and other screenings
- Providing mental health awareness training for educators to identify suicidal thoughts, abuse, and trauma experienced by students
- Developing instructional supports (resources/videos and professional learning) in social studies, science, ELA, and math
- Providing supports and therapeutic services for students with disabilities
- Covering the costs of teaching endorsements in critical areas and tuition for teachers entering the profession through GaTAPP
- Providing opportunity grants for school districts to support STEM/STEAM, AP, gifted, world language, health & PE, and fine arts learning opportunities
Georgia was allocated a total of $4,252,431,691 through the American Rescue Plan (the third federal COVID-19 stimulus bill). GaDOE received the first $2,832,914,163 in March 2021 and immediately allocated funds to school districts.
The U.S. Department of Education (US ED) required states to submit an application outlining their plans for the remainder of the funding; Georgia’s was approved today and the final $1,419,517,528 will be allocated to the state.
In its announcement, US ED highlighted Georgia’s efforts to safely reopen schools and sustain safe operations, provide formative assessments at no cost to school districts, deploy Continuous Improvement Teams to support schools, invest in summer learning, and expand afterschool programs.
Georgia has received a total of three rounds of COVID-19 stimulus funds for K-12 education, known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.
All ESSER funds are allocated to school districts based on a specific funding formula required by federal law.