Excerpt from "Covid-19 Relief Funding Includes Support for Music Education," an article by Robert B. Morrison and Marcia Neel, published in School, Band and Orchestra Magazine.
COVID-19 relief funds have been set aside to support education. Since the passage of the CARES Act in 2020, there have been two subsequent relief acts passed. All three provide increasing amounts of support through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER I, II, and III).
First, a little background: CARES I, II (CRRSA), III (ARP)
In March 2020, Congress set aside approximately $13.2 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER I). In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, (CRRSA, aka CARES II), became law and provided an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II). In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP, aka CARES III) was signed into law thereby providing a third round of funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) an additional $122 billion on top of what was already provided for ESSER I and II.
With additional help on the way through these ESSER funds, now is the time for directors to reach out to building principals to discuss what items might be needed to conduct music classes more safely when they return to teaching in person. The principal will either have spending authority for these funds or will be able to help submit a request for music-related purchases at the district level. As these resources are considerable, directors may want to also share this useful information with fellow educators, administrators, and even parents.
There are fifteen (15) numbered categories of “allowable use” from the statute. A list was provided by the Nebraska Department of Education to every district in their state and is available to view here: http://bit.ly/NE_ESSER. Directors can download this document to use as a guide. Below are some suggestions that have been correlated to the appropriate category of allowable use to help you get started making your own list of anticipated needs.
Read the article to learn about the following:
- Instruments, Supplies and Materials to Help Ensure Health and Safety
- PPE, Cleaning Supplies and Sanitation
- Ensuring Health and Safety
- Facility Considerations
- Instructional Support
- Summer Programs
- Additional Important Resources