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Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Grant Program

The GEER Grant Program, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides funds to help local education agencies (LEAs) respond to changes in student needs due to COVID-19 (CARES Act, Section 18002).

The Governor has asked the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to award $46.6 million to 156 Wisconsin LEAs and 3 Tribal Schools.

Eligible Applicants

The CARES Act required DPI to determine which LEAs were most impacted by COVID-19, and only those LEAs determined to be most impacted are eligible for the funds. DPI used the following four eligibility criteria to identify the LEAs most impacted in 2019-20, based on students in academic need of support and their ability to access learning:

  1. Percentage of students scoring below basic on English language arts (ELA)
  2. Percentage of students from economically disadvantaged families
  3. Percentage of households with no devices
  4. Percentage of households with no internet

The household internet and devices data are from the American Community Survey (ACS). Specifically, they are five-year (2014-2018) census tract level estimates of the total population under 18 years old in various categories of internet and device ownership from ACS Table B28005. ELA data come from the 2018-19 DPI data sets and economically disadvantaged data come from 2019-20 DPI data sets.

Applying for an GEER Grant

GEER Grant applications for LEAs became available in WISEgrants on October 15, 2020. The grant performance period is 7/1/20-9/30/22. DPI consultants will review applications in the order they are received. LEAs may claim funds as soon as their applications are approved.


GEER funds are subject to US Department of Education reporting requirements. See the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Annual Reporting Requirements page for reporting details.

Equitable Participation for Private School Students

Equitable participation for private school students applies to GEER grant funds. The process will be the same as that for ESEA, involving meaningful consultation and submission of Affirmation of Consultation forms. 

The CARES Act requires that an LEA maintain all control of  federal funds, materials, equipment, and property. LEAs may make purchases and contract for services on behalf of the private school, but shall not reimburse the private school for any purchases or contract of services made by the private school (CARES Act, Section 18005(b)). 

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