DC Mayor: $129 Million in ARP ESSER Recovery Funding

Washington, DC (STL.News) Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that Washington, DC received approval from the U.S. Department of Education on the District’s state plan for use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to support K-12 students and schools in the 2021-22 school year.  With approval of the District’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) state plan, the District will receive $128,932,230 to ensure a safe reopening, support student and staff well-being, and promote accelerated learning when students and staff return to in-person classes, five days a week in August.

“The American Rescue Plan has helped the nation reopen and get back on track for a strong recovery, and that’s what these funds will do for our schools,” said Mayor Bowser.  “This fall, we look forward to welcoming our students and educators back for full time, in-person learning, with the programs and resources necessary to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of our young people.”

State plans detail how states are using and plan to use ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the needs of students, including by equitably expanding opportunity for students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The District of Columbia, which received $257,544,769 in March for a total $386,476,999 in ARP ESSER funding, will use funds to target student populations that have experienced significant disruption due to COVID-19.

“We are thrilled that USED has approved DC’s ARP state plan, which will guide us in the safe reopening of our school buildings, while we continue to focus on recovery efforts that meet the unique needs of our students and school communities,” said Acting State Superintendent Christina Grant.  “Through our state plan, we prioritize a safe reopening, focus on student and staff well-being, and promote accelerated learning to give our students and school communities the best opportunity to recover and successfully move forward.”

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will invest in infrastructure supports such as citywide standards and foundational training for tutors to help ensure high-quality implementation of high-impact tutoring (HIT) as well as grants to schools and/or community-based organizations to help scale these tutoring models that meet OSSE’s standards.  DC will expand Out of School Time (OST) grants to nonprofit organizations that provide summer learning and afterschool programs and have experience implementing evidence-based interventions.

DC is also expanding its Comprehensive School Based Behavioral Health System to increase access to clinical services in public schools across the District and ensure schools are fully staffed with behavioral health providers.  OSSE is encouraging and supporting local education agencies to plan for how district-level ESSER allocations may be used to support staffing and training to meet students’ mental and physical health needs.

A total of 40 states have submitted their ARP ESSER state plans to the department of education.  Today’s approval of state plans for DC, South Dakota, Texas, Massachusetts, Utah, Arkansas, and Rhode Island will result in the release of nearly $6 billion in ARP ESSER funds.