Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER) and Webinar (June 1, 2021)

Memo Information

Memo Number
COM-21-136
Memo Date
5/24/2021
Memo Type
Informational
Unit
Public School Accountability
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
NO
Attention
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Child Nutrition Directors/Managers; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts); Facilities / Maintenance Director

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund 

(ARP ESSER) and Webinar (June 1, 2021)

Each district is required to submit an LEA application for use of ARP ESSER funds.  This memo outlines the district expectations and timelines for completing the LEA application. 

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will host a webinar on June 1, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. available at https://zoom.us/j/96004380996?pwd=bk12cHF1dm83SVY0Z3BtaVNTK3FHdz09  It is recommended that the district's Ready for Learning Committee participate.  The webinar will be recorded and posted on the CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act webpage.

The local educational agency (LEA) must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its ARP ESSER plan.

Use of Funds

A local educational agency (LEA) may use funds it receives under section 2001(d) of the ARP for any activity listed in section 2001(e). Any activity that is an allowable use of Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER I) funds by an LEA under section 18003(d) of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act, funds by an LEA under section 313(d) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (ESSER II) is also an allowable use of ARP ESSER funds by an LEA under section 2001(d) of the ARP ESSER.  Please see Commissioner’s Memo COM-21-106 for guidance on the use of ESSER funds.  The memo also provides the program codes

Due to the end of the fiscal year, districts should utilize ESSER I and ESSER II funds through June 2021 and can begin obligating and expending ARP ESSER funds after July 1, 2021, if Arkansas Legislative Council approval for appropriations is finalized.  Preliminary allocations are posted in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-21-035.  Information regarding summer reimbursements is available in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-21-045.  

 

ARP ESSER LEA Application:

The American Rescue Plan Act requires three parts for a complete LEA Application of ARP ESSER funds:

Part A:  LEA Plan for Continuity of Services, ARP Section 2001(i)(1)

By April 15, 2021, posted on district website; updated every six months with public comments

Part B:  LEA Signed Assurances

(Attachment 1)

By June 24, 2021, posted in ESSER folder in Indistar

Part C: LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds, ARP Section 2001(e)

(Attachment 2)

By August 15, 2021, posted in ESSER folder in Indistar and posted on district website

Part A:  LEA Plan for Continuity of Services, ARP Section 2001(i)(1)

  1. The LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its plan.  Specifically, the LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with students, families, school and district administrators (including SPED administrators, teachers and other educators, principals and other school leaders, school staff, unions (if applicable), tribes, civil rights organizations (including disability organizations) and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.  Districts are responsible for archiving documentation of meaningful consultation.
  2. During the period of the ARP ESSER award established in Section 2001 (a) of the ARP Act, an LEA must regularly, but no less frequently than every six (6) months, review and as appropriate, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of service.  The LEA Plan for Continuity of Services should describe how the district will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the safety recommendations established by the CDC including masks, physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining health facilities, contract tracing, diagnostic and screening test, vaccinations, appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies, and coordination with state and local health officials.  DESE released end-of-year COVID-19 Guidance for Schools (COM-21-108) and requested LEAs post their LEA Plan for Continuity of Services (summary for end-of-year on-campus activities and continuity of instruction through the summer, including athletics, and fall back-to school events) on their district website by April 15, 2021, request public comment and take such comments into account in the development/modification of the plan for summer and back-to-school activities. DESE will monitor district websites for easy access to the LEA Plan for Continuity of Services and the request for public comment throughout the life of the ARP ESSER award.

Part B:  LEA Signed Assurances

The LEA must review and sign the ARP ESSER Assurances.  The completed ARP ESSER Assurances must be uploaded into the district’s ESSER folder in Indistar by June 24, 2021.  The ARP ESSER Assurances are available in Word or PDF (see attachment 1).  Once the ARP ESSER Assurances have been uploaded, the district may begin obligating ARP funds in July 2021, if Arkansas Legislative Council approval for appropriations is finalized.

Part C: LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds, ARP Section 2001(e)

  1. The LEA must complete and submit the LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds to the DESE by uploading the plan in the district’s ESSER folder in Indistar by August 15, 2021.  
  2. The LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds must be posted on the district website and the URL provided to DESE.  The plan may be revised by notifying the DESE and uploading the revised plans in Indistar and on the district website (please include the revision date on all documents).  The LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds is available in Word or PDF (see attachment 2).  
  3. The LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds requires planning for the district’s full allocation among the three areas on the template.  Districts may select evidence-based practices included in the LEA Plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds or add additional rows to provide the practice and evidence that will be utilized by the district.

 

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