Federal Programs
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)
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Danielle Hughes




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Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant funding is authorized in three pieces of legislation. As a result, the ESSER programs are administered by TEA as separate grant programs. 

The ESSER I, CRRSA ESSER II, and ARP ESSER III grant programs run concurrently. During the overlap in periods of availability, grantees may expend funds from any of the grant programs.

The team at ESC Region 12 is here to provide assistance and training on the ESSER planning requirements, grant application, reporting, and compliance monitoring.

Check back periodically to see all the necessary reminders related to ESSER!


  • ESSER II ends 9/30/23. This is approaching quickly! Make sure you are spending the money according to your plans (or make an amendment) and completing regular drawdowns. If you can make your final draw before 8/31/23, this will ease your ESSER II reporting burden significantly.
  • ESSER III ends 9/30/24.
  • ESSER Expenditure Reminders:
    • Don’t forget to make your drawdowns regularly (such as quarterly or monthly).
    • Need to make changes? Significant changes need to be updated in your Use of Funds plan and amended in the grant application.
    • Remember your expenditures must be connected to allowable activities in the grant, and meet the intent of the ESSER grant (which must be related to the COVID-19 pandemic).
    • If you make expenditure changes in ESSER III, be sure to maintain at least 20% of your funds set aside for learning loss and SEL needs.
    • With the new reporting requirements, it is important that your district establishes a strong system of communication and procedures between the fiscal side and program side of the ESSER grant. Be sure to communicate regularly with your business office personnel.
  • ESSER III Required Postings: Use of Funds Plan and Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services (RIPICS) Plan
    • These are required to be reviewed with stakeholders every six months through 9/30/23.
    • Your plans should remain on your website for the life of the ESSER III grant (ends 9/30/24).
    • Check your plans: Do they still say in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year? Do your surveys say they are due some time in 2021? If so, you need to be sure to update your plan and/or website.
    • Important clarification: The six month review is required whether or not you and your stakeholders are making changes to your plan. The review is actually your documentation of the collective decision among stakeholders to update or not update your RIPICS plan.
    • Your first 6 month review should have completed in the winter/spring, including the required stakeholder engagement and opportunity for public comment.
    • URLs should be up-to-date and accurate to reflect the required postings in both English and Spanish
    • The next required 6 month review is likely due to be completed during the summer or as the upcoming school year begins, so plan accordingly.
    • Stakeholder input and public commentary should be ongoing and must be documented. Examples could include new surveys, site-based committee meeting minutes, rosters, and agendas, needs assessment meeting documentation, and/or board meetings, etc.
    • Districts/LEAs are required to engage with all stakeholders listed in the ARP ESSER III requirements. It is recommend to publish the documentation of your stakeholder engagement.

  • ESSER State Fiscal Reports are now open and required for every Expenditure Report (ER) for ESSER II, III and SUPP.
    • This is an additional fiscal report through SmartSheets that is activated once the ER is submitted. Justification documentation of expenditures with ESSER funds is still required and should be maintained at a local level.
    • To avoid TEA canceling payment requests, please see the “Timeline for Submitting ESSER State Fiscal Reporting Form with Each Payment Request” bulletin (linked HERE) for ESSER II, III, and Supplemental expenditure reporting.
    • Districts/LEAs only have 9 calendar days to submit State Fiscal Reporting Form after the request for payment.
    • After submission of the form, LEAs may be contacted for corrections. If the LEA doesn't respond to the correction request, the superintendent will be notified of the issue.
    • TEA will cancel payments if the LEA doesn't respond within 14 calendar days of escalating the information to the superintendent, and that may result in an increased risk level and more in-depth fiscal grant monitoring
    • 3.11 (payroll, stipends, supplanted salaries), 3.12 (operational continuity, Co-Op fees, etc.), and 6.1 (indirect costs) have been added. (as of November 2022)



If you'd like access to the log in page or future zoom meetings, please contact Danielle Hughes


ESSER Virtual Office Hours