This page contains information on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund authorized under federal law (the CARES Act of March 2020, the CAA/CRRS Act of December 2020, and the ARP Act of March 2021).*For information on the Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS) program for private K-12 schools see: https://dpi.wi.gov/crrsaa/eans
*UPDATED ESSER III FORMULA GRANTS* February 9, 2022:
A December 6, 2021, communication from the United States Department of Education (USDE) indicated that Wisconsin’s ESSER III State Plan was approved in part, but that Wisconsin was required to modify the state plan to distribute a certain portion of the state’s ESSER III allocation in a different manner to be compliant with the federal ARP Act, under which the ESSER III fund was authorized.
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) submitted a plan for modifications to the ESSER III State Plan to the to the Wisconsin Legislative Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) on January 19, 2022, for approval, as required under Wisconsin state law. The JCF approved the modifications to the ESSER III State Plan on February 2, 2022. While the USDE is still reviewing the plan, DPI anticipates that the USDE will approve the modifications to Wisconsin’s ESSER State Plan.
The formula grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) under the modified ESSER III State Plan consist of the following components:
- Initial ESSER III Allocation: 90 percent of the total ESSER III allocation must be distributed to LEAs based on each LEAs proportionate share of federal funding under Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (reauthorized in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act)
- Earmark to Address Learning Loss: 5 percent of the total ESSER III allocation earmarked under the ARP Act to address learning disruption due to the COVID pandemic will be distributed under a two-part formula that includes a per-pupil minimum grant and an LEA grant minimum guarantee).
- A portion of the state’s unrestricted discretionary ESSER III funding that will be distributed to certain LEAs that held instruction in-person for at least 50 percent of the 2020-21 school year.
More information can be found on DPI’s web page for the ESSER III fund.
ARP ESSER [ESSER III] (American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021)
For more information on the ARP ESSER [ESSER III] Fund (including allocations to LEAs), see: https://dpi.wi.gov/arp/esser-iii
May 27, 2021: the legislative Joint Committee on Finance met to review DPI’s plan for distribution of ESSER III funds to local education agencies (LEAs) and other educational entities. The Committee modified DPI’s plan for distributing a portion of the ESSER III funds. Under the JCF plan, LEAs with an initial ESSER III grant of less than $781 per pupil would be eligible for additional funds if the LEA provided in-person instruction for at least 50 percent of the 2020-21 school year. Link to the motion passed by the Committee (modifications to DPI’s plan): Motion #57 (May 27, 2021)
On April 1, 2021, the Department of Public Instruction Plan submitted its plan for ESSER III Funds to the Joint Committee on Finance:
- Letter of Transmittal
- DPI Plan for ESSER III Funds (subject to approval by the Joint Committee on Finance)
- Preliminary LEA Grant Amounts (DPI Plan)
March 2021: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted on March 11,2021
ESSER II (the Consolidated Appropriations Act/Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of December 2020)
For more information on the ESSER II Fund (including allocations to LEAs), see: https://www.dpi.wi.gov/crrsaa/esser-ii
On February 10, 2021, the legislative Joint Committee on Finance met to review DPI’s plan for distribution of ESSER II funds to local education agencies (LEAs) and other educational entities. The Committee modified DPI’s plan for distributing a portion (just under 10 percent) of the ESSER II funding, basing LEA allocations of ESSER II set aside funding on each district's share of in-person instruction provided to students. Link to the motion passed by the Committee (modifications to DPI’s plan): JCF Motion #16, 2/10/2021
January 2021: The Department of Public Instruction Plan for ESSER II Funds (January 26, 2021):
January 2021: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act - CRRSA Act), enacted on December 27, 2020
ESSER and GEER (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of March 2020)
For more information on the ESSER Fund (including allocations to LEAs), see: https://dpi.wi.gov/cares/esser-grants
For more information on the GEER Fund (including allocations to LEAs), see: https://dpi.wi.gov/cares/governors-emergency-education-relief-geer-grant-program
April 2020: Letter to the Joint Committee on Finance seeking approval for DPI's ESSER Fund Plan (April 24, 2020)
March 2020: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
- United States Code (USC)
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - Select Education, Title 34 from the drop down menu on the home page.
- Every Student Succeeds Act (reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, December 2015)
- ESEA/No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (HR 1350)
- Wisconsin Statutes - all agencies. Search for a word or phrase in the infobase.
- Legislative Activity
- Wisconsin Administrative Code - all agencies. Search for a word or phrase in the infobase.
- DPI Administrative Code
- DPI Proposed Administrative Code Modifications