In recognition that schools would play an integral role in the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government included funding earmarked specifically for education in each of the three stimulus acts:
The funding for P-12 education in these acts is allocated to the Education Stabilization Fund authorized in the CARES Act. This fund provides broad discretion to states and localities to use the aid to support activities and services around coronavirus preparedness and response efforts; it is composed of three sub-funds:
Most of the funding has been allocated to ESSER, under which the City has received three infusions of aid for P-12 education funding.
Due to the extreme financial stress the City and State were experiencing when the CARES Act was passed, the Governor at that time supplanted this funding ($720M to NYC between ESSER and GEER) and therefore did not pass through to NYC for new programming.
ESSER funding allocated through the subsequent stimulus acts, CRRSA and ARPA, has been budgeted across fiscal years 2021-2025.
This funding supports various priority initiatives for the City’s schools, as broken out below. New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) has prioritized students who are disabled, English language learners, homeless, from a high-poverty background, or from racial and ethnic groups that have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.
On December 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act) was signed into law, authorizing the second tranche of funding under the Education Stabilization Fund program. This emergency relief fund is intended to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus across a wide range of activities. CRRSA-ESSER provides $2.1 billion in direct funding to the NYC Department of Education. Funds were appropriated in the 2021-22 enacted state budget and must be spent between March 13, 2020- September 30, 2023.
Allowable uses of funds are intentionally broad to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, including addressing learning loss (e.g. summer learning and afterschool programming), mental health services and supports, purchasing educational technology (hardware, software, and connectivity) preparing schools for reopening, and testing, repairing and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
In partnership and consultation with school district leaders, teachers, their unions, principals, City Hall, parents, and other stakeholders DOE is prioritizing investments of CRRSA-ESSER funds in the following major areas. Note: As represented in a previous table, many of these investments are supported by both ARPA-ESSER and CRRSA-ESSER funding.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law, authorizing the third tranche of ESSER funding, ARPA-ESSER. This emergency relief fund is intended to provide supports to safely reopen schools, sustain safe operations, and address the impact of coronavirus pandemic on students.
ARPA-ESSER provides $4.8 billion in direct funding to the NYC Department of Education. These funds must be spent between March 2021- September 30, 2024. At least 20 percent of the funding must address the academic impact of lost instructional time through summer learning, comprehensive afterschool programs, and/or extended school year programs.
In partnership and consultation with school district leaders, teachers, principals, City Hall, their unions, parents, and other stakeholders DOE is prioritizing investments in the following major areas. Note: As represented in a previous table, many of these investments are supported by both ARPA-ESSER and CRRSA-ESSER funding.