Emergency Funding: ESSER I, II, III

What is ESSER Funding?

In response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act, the CRRSA Act, and the ARP Act that include relief packages designed in part to provide states with both funding and streamlined waivers to give state departments of education necessary flexibilities to respond to the pandemic. The relief packages include almost $200 billion in emergency education funding, channeled for public schools mainly through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

How Can My District Use ESSER Funding?

States and school districts must implement evidence-based strategies to address the academic impact of lost instructional time. Many parents and educators are especially concerned about the loss of in-person instructional time on students’ early literacy skills. Emergency funding may be used to support comprehensive state and local literacy programs that are needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., to address the loss of literacy skills as a result of the pandemic). It is important that school districts invest in evidence-based practices to support learners, including in early literacy, whether they are learning remotely or in person.

States and school districts may also use emergency funding for multitiered support systems for ELLs and to provide specially designed instruction for students with disabilities for literacy development and language acquisition. Funds may also be used for parent training and family literacy services in the use of early learning strategies that bring in the child’s environment and experiences to promote literacy skills.

How Much ESSER Funding Will States Receive?

State awards for the ESSER Funds are distributed in the same proportion that each state received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year (FY) 2019–20. Each state must use no less than 90 percent of its allocation to make subgrants to school districts within the state, based on each district's share of funds received under Title I, Part A in the fiscal year 2019–20.

How Reading Horizons Aligns with ESSER Funding

  • All of the Reading Horizons programs are authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and IDEA, as outlined above in funding descriptions for Title I, II, III, IV and IDEA.
  • Reading Horizons directly addresses the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, ELLs, and racial and ethnic minorities with its comprehensive core reading curriculum.
  • Reading Horizons provides web-based asynchronous training through the Reading Horizons Online Professional Development Course, allowing schools to prepare their teachers, even remotely, to address learning loss among all students.
  • Reading Horizons’ products universally address students’ learning loss in reading, especially through the targeted interventions of RH Elevate.
“I work with an amazing group of special needs students third grade and younger. My students love this program. The way that words are broken down and marked allows my students to really understand why certain letters make the sounds they do and to see the word in a more concrete way.”

— Michigan Instructor