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Students wearing masks and doing schoolwork outdoors


Guiding Questions

For anticipated higher enrollment or expanded programming, what funding sources are available to you from local, state, and federal sources?

Can you repurpose resources reserved for in-person summer experiences or other expenses no longer needed to support summer learning instead?

How can community partnerships be leveraged to broaden access to summer program opportunities?


Sometimes the complexity of funding requirements clutters clarity about who the funds are intended to support. Before even considering what funding is available, identify and address systemic barriers. The time spent on understanding and addressing systemic barriers can create a summer learning launch pad that allows for long term impacts, even with funding that only lasts a few years. When allocating funds to address systemic barriers, starting with the most rigid funding sources and moving to the most flexible helps invest in a coherent plan.

If you are looking for ideas to spend one-time funding for well-rounded learning options, click here.

Between March of 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three stimulus bills that provided over $2.3 billion under the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief Fund (ESSER or ESSERF) to school districts in Wisconsin. These funds provide emergency financial assistance to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. This funding can support summer learning opportunities. For more information about the unprecedented amount of funding available to help schools and districts respond to student needs due to COVID-19 click here.

DPI has a proposed revision to the PI 17 administrative rule in process that would make permanent the ability for school districts to count online instructional minutes for all grades in determining summer school membership FTE. Counting online summer classes for all grades was allowed in summer 2020 under Emergency Rule 2003, which is no longer in effect. The lack of a permanent rule does not prohibit districts from offering online summer classes to all grades, but DPI cannot guarantee those minutes will be able to be counted until a permanent rule is promulgated (takes effect). The proposed rule is subject to review and approval by the Governor and Legislature. If the rule is promulgated before DPI has to collect summer school minutes and determine membership FTE this fall, it will be applied to all online classes offered in summer 2021.

Online summer classes for students in grades 7-12, offered for high school credit, remain allowed by statute. Instructional minutes may be counted if the student completes the class, with 8,100 minutes equivalent to one full-year credit.

General summer school membership guidance is posted to the School Financial Services (SFS) Team’s Summer School webpage (

Districts in receipt of 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grants may use the grant funds to supplement summer program services, targeting the schools funded under the grant. Grantees may be eligible to receive a waiver, expanding the use of funds to support the academic instruction facilitated by the school. In most cases, grant funds are used to support supplemental and enrichment activities that are part of summer school programs.

Title IV, Part A funds may be used by the LEA to coordinate with other funding sources to support and enhance services related to summer school activities. Examples of allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, staff expenses, supplies for academic and enrichment activities, curricular expenses, and technology expenses.

Emergency Broadband Benefit (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021)—Program Start May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting Temporary discounts up to $50/month ($75 on Tribal Land) off of eligible household's internet access bill. Expires 6 months after the health emergency or when money is depleted.

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For questions about this information, contact Tamara Mouw (608) 266-2364