The year 2020 brought unprecedented changes as the world encountered the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting countless lives, jobs and the state of the economy.
As the world transitions back into a “new normal”, it is important to be educated about what sort of assistance is available to those in the K-12 sector. Naturally, the pandemic took a major toll on those involved in the school system, particularly when it came to funding. Many districts throughout the state of Ohio froze spending or halted projects during the 2020 year and even into 2021. Moving forward, here is information on what federal funding for K-12 schools will look like for the upcoming years.
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)
These funds fall under the umbrella of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) that was passed on March 25, 2020 and put into law March 27, 2020 by Congress. ESSER funds were made available in late May 2020 for traditional public schools and community schools. Funding was given based on the percentage of Title I funds per school district.
School districts have access to use these funds between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2022.
- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (ESSER II)
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation (CRSSA) was passed into law on December 27, 2020 and provided additional funding to assist with COVID-19. These funds, also known as ESSER II funds, are available from March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2023 for school districts.
Information about the CRSSA can be found below:
- American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP)
The American Rescue Plan of 2021 was passed into law on March 11, 2021 to continue to assist with COVID-19 impacts. This included $1.9 trillion in funding, including nearly $5.4 billion to the state of Ohio. These funds are available from May 13, 2020 until September 30, 2024 for school districts. Funding for Ohio counties was recently announced in mid-May of 2021, so this will be updated as needed. Below you can find some helpful information about funding in each county.
What Does This Mean For Schools?
For many school districts, this additional COVID funding can provide opportunities for:
- Assessing Facilities: Ensuring a safe environment for students to learn is critical. Keeping facilities up to code compliance and free of unnecessary risk is one way to assist.
- Developing Long-Term Maintenance Plans: For the next few years, there is opportunities to create short-term and long-term preventative maintenance strategies for schools.
- Capital Improvement Projects: Districts have often lacked funding to renovate an existing football stadium, or upgrade the classrooms in their building. With this COVID-19 funding available, conversations about what long-term projects can be tackled should be at the forefront of discussions.
- Flexible Seating for socially-distanced learning: Schools may pivot the way they teach to accommodate socially distanced learning. Flexible seating options is a great solution available for potential anticpated changes in learning.
- Gymnasium Upgrades: Gymnasiums now have the opportunity to provide socially-distanced education for students. Ensuring they are up to date with being code compliant as well as considering major renovations could be a consideration for schools.
Farnham Equipment Company has established itself since 1956 as a service provider for Educational Casework, Athletic Equipment, Bleachers, Science Lab Equipment and Stadium Grandstands. Our work throughout the state of Ohio in the K-12 market is well-known, and our team of certified installers are ready and available to assist in any improvements for school districts looking to use their funding.