In response to the economic outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Congress passed three bills that provided immediate and direct economic assistance to state and local educational agencies through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These funds were provided to support areas with the greatest need, where the academic and non-academic components for school districts had the greatest impact due to COVID-19. As additional funding was provided, the intent of the funds was to support states and local school districts’ efforts to safely reopen schools, address significant gaps in learning, and support measures of implementation that will continue to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on students and families.
For Brooks County Schools, that financial support is coming from the three federal funding packages. Brooks County Schools is allotted $32.5 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as CARES Act I, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. In the second round of federal funding, authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, GCPS is allotted $125.7 million. (CRRSA was signed into law on Dec. 23, 2020.) The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is the third round of funding. Brooks County Schools is allotted $7,238,792 under the CARES Act funding.
The federal monies reside with the state. Entities like Brooks County Schools submit a proposal for qualifying expenses, then request reimbursement up to the district’s approved amount. Each month financial reports are shared with the Brooks County Board of Education members for review. The meetings are open to the public and may be viewed live via the Brooks County Schools Facebook page.
The Georgia Department of Education has developed an ESSER funding dashboard that provides a simple, transparent way for the public to see Georgia school districts’ use of federal COVID-19 relief funds. The ESSER funding dashboard provides the public an opportunity to access information about how much of the funds have been used so far to improve student learning, address lost learning opportunities, support students’ mental health and wellbeing, and more. The dashboard shows spending under all three rounds of ESSER funding – through the CARES Act in May 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in January 2021, and the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. When you go to the dashboard, go to "Select System" and choose "Brooks County Schools" to learn more about the ESSER funding we received.
Stakeholders may review the Brooks County Schools ARP plan, Learning Loss Interventions and our revised Opening Plan for 2021-2022 . Stakeholders may view the ARP Informational Video or ARP Handout. Stakeholders wishing to provide input into these plans are asked to complete the ESSER III - Stakeholder Feedback Form.