The ARP Act, signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides the third economic stimulus package to individuals, businesses, hospitals, and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in response to the economic distress caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It includes the following:
- ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Education Relief (ESSER III): Wisconsin’s allocation under ESSER III is more than $1.5 billion. States are required to subgrant 90% directly to LEAs and use the remaining 10% primarily for activities and interventions that address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student groups, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.
- Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY): Wisconsin’s ARP Act funding includes $10,097,813 specifically dedicated to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Wisconsin will receive approximately $47.6 million in ARP funding to offset costs of providing programs and services to students with disabilities under IDEA. These funds will be administered as additional funding under the existing IDEA Flow-through and Preschool formula subgrants to LEAs for 2021-22.
- Public Libraries: Wisconsin will receive $3,270,854 for public libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to be administered as subgrants to regional public library systems and public libraries. Funds support digital inclusion efforts, implementation of public health protocols, library services that meet community needs, and reaching tribal and museum partners best positioned to assist with pandemic response efforts.
- Digital Access:
- Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF): ECF supports remote learning by reimbursing libraries and schools for devices and internet services for students, staff, and patrons. Schools providing face-to-face instruction can apply for funds to close the homework gap.
- Broadband Access Grant: Up to $100 million for projects to expand high speed broadband internet to unserved and underserved households. Application credit will be awarded for proposals with public-private partnerships. Visit DPI’s Expanding Broadband webpage for resources to support grant applications.
- Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS II): The ARP Act provides continued funding under the EANS program. As with EANS I, Governors apply for the funds, and the program is then administered by the state education agency. The application deadline is July 15, 2021. EANS II will function like EANS I, with the exception that reimbursements are no longer allowed; all expenses must be for direct services and assistance. DPI’s EANS webpage will provide additional information as it becomes available.