FAQ: ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
How much will St. Louis Public Schools receive? The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will add more than $103 million to the SLPS budget over the next three years. The District has received $10.7 million in CARES Act Funding to date.
When will St. Louis Public Schools receive funding? The District will submit a restart plan to the state in August and receive partial funds after it is approved, and the remainder over the next three years.
Will the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation receive any of those dollars? No, these dollars are for specific support of students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do charter schools also get stimulus dollars? Yes, public and charter schools are eligible to submit an application for ESSER funding.
How does the District plan to use new funding? The District heard from the community that funds should be prioritized for ‘direct support to learners.’ This could be resources to make up unleared information among students including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and children and those in foster care; holistic supports for students who have experienced trauma, and/or blended, virtual and hybrid learning (technology, access). These funds are meant to ease the impact of the pandemic on children who come from families already challenged and are now burdened with issues relative to Covid-19 (i.e., pandemic –related job/healthcare loss). The proposed plan can be found here.
Who was involved in the decision–making? Over 2,900 parents, staff, community, and students completed a survey to indicate how they believed this stimulus money should be allocated.
What priorities have been identified? The District gathered over 40 practitioners and stakeholders to be a part of the ESSER Committee. These working groups identified three priorities based on community input: Supporting the whole child, expanding 21st century schools, and investing in our staff.
Does the Foundation still need private dollars? Yes! This is ONE TIME funding that will go away once it is spent. The ESSER dollars are temporary funding intended to support pandemic recovery efforts for students and families. There is no shortage of need! It is critical for private funders to continue to invest with the Foundation to ensure equitable educational system for all students LONG TERM. We’re also taking this time to look at innovative and new ideas under a new strategic plan that will help us be best positioned to support students and the District moving forward.