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Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Greetings, SCS Employees.
This evening, during the Board Budget & Finance Committee meeting, our Finance team provided an update on the second wave of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funds under the Federal CARES Act, which were enacted on December 27, 2020.

As District leaders work with our Board members in the weeks ahead to determine potential plans for the strategic and equitable allocation of ESSER II funds, we want to ensure employees understand the basic facts of this process.

The application period for Districts to receive ESSER II funds will be open January 20 - March 1, 2021, and funds will be available for use through until September 30, 2023. The District is eligible to receive approximately $224 million, of which a percentage will pass through to charter and private schools.

ESSER II funds are different from the original CARES Act funds that were enacted in March 2020. Specific allowable uses include:

  • New efforts to addressing learning loss
  • New improvements to school facilities
  • Planning for long-term closures
  • Addressing the unique needs of special populations
  • Purchasing education technology
  • Providing summer learning and supplemental after-school programs
  • Providing mental health services
  • Conducting other necessary activities to maintain operational services

These are one-time funds, so all District spending plans must reflect expenses that are either one-time costs (e.g., learning loss) or long-term investments (e.g., facilities). This funding is not intended to supplant existing planned expenditures or recurring expenses.

More details will be shared as plans are developed for the use of ESSER II funds to effectively support our District. In the meantime, you can find additional information in these FAQs and this fact sheet developed by the Tennessee Department of Education.