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American Rescue Plan (ARP/ESSER III)

American Rescue Plan (ARP/ESSER III)

American Rescue Plan (ARP/ESSER III)

MPS selects eight community partners to provide summer programming for students

April 17, 2023

After a competitive process with strong applicants, MPS has selected eight community partners to provide summer programming for students during August 2023. The partners will receive funding for their respective programs through federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act (ESSER) funding. 

ESSER III funding was designed to target and support students most impacted educationally and emotionally by the COVID-19 pandemic: low-income students, students of color, American Indian students, English language learners, students with disabilities and students experiencing homelessness. 

In total, MPS received 27 proposals requesting more than $800,000 in funding. Individual contract requests for the eight community partners selected range from $17,500 to $35,000, for a total amount of approximately $200,000. 

The names of the community partners, type of programming and total contract amount requested are listed below. Final contract amounts are pending.

Afghan American Development Association will help newly arriving Afghan students prepare for the school year by focusing on improving their spoken and written English, basic reading and math skills, and socialization.

Baby’s Space will provide trauma-informed, culturally-rooted, hands-on activities designed to improve the literacy, math, and social-emotional skills they need to enter kindergarten fully prepared for success. 

Bilingual Education Collective will provide academic enrichment, welcome newcomer families to the Minnesota outdoors, and provide a supportive bilingual school community.

Ka Joog will provide a wraparound academic program for Somali American and East African youth that will expose teens to higher education and Science Technology Engineering Arts Math (STEAM) careers.

Little Earth Residents Association will teach youth about their Native identity through different activities, such as harvesting medicines and herbs, canoeing, participating in a sweat lodge, and visits to tribal reservations. 

MN Zej Zog will provide Hmong students with identity, culture, and language development lessons and healing through the arts. 

BFRESH Productions will provide BIPOC high school students with an immersive media experience with access to technology, mentorship, and development opportunities to share narratives that will be aired on various platforms.

WE WIN will provide a program that will celebrate Black culture through reading, gardening, and preparing food.

The MPS ESSER III plan was shaped by feedback from an advisory committee (including staff members, union representatives, students, families, and community partners), American Indian tribal consultation and online and direct input from individuals and organizations.

Opportunities for Phase 4 funding will be announced later this spring.



ARP/ESSER III overview

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. ARP, also known as ESSER III, provides $170 billion to help K-12 schools and institutions of higher education reopen safely for in-person learning and address students’ needs.
ARP includes an intentional focus on addressing academic losses students may have experienced due to COVID. It has an additional focus on ensuring staff and students continue to experience physical spaces that are safe and supportive of a healthy learning environment. School Districts will be required to use at least 20% of the funds they receive to address lost learning time for students. The opportunities and possibilities represented by this investment in education is unprecedented. While there are specific guidelines, there is also flexibility.
MPS has received $159.4 million in ARP/ESSER III funds.

Expenditure Description and ESSER III Budget

Following are investments MPS is making with ESSER III funds:

  • 6-12 Literacy Specialist Professional Development Material:  $7,400
  • Additional mental health support for high school and early childhood:  $540,000
  • Additional Reading Licensure Pathway:  $500,000
  • Additional Related Services Staff:  $1,952,514
  • Additional Staff for ESSER Evaluation and Reporting:  $1,337,650
  • Air Handling Replacement at Select Schools: $11,600,000
  • Americorps Tutors-Check & Connect: $300,000
  • Americorps Tutors-Indian Education: $80,000
  • Americorps Tutors-Office of Black Student Achievement: $100,000
  • Arts Afterschool Special Education Programming: $216,000
  • Birth to 5 Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Intervention: $180,000
  • Bus Driver Recruitment and Retention: $2,437,323
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) English Learner Support: $296,775
  • Community Outreach Navigators: $321,542
  • Contract Support for Licensure Pathway Program: $76,070
  • Core Curriculum Materials for Special Education: $200,000
  • Culturally Specific Community Contracts for Student/Family Support: $2,499,999
  • Custodial Recruitment and Retention: $4,582,080
  • Diverse, Inclusive Books and Materials: $310,000
  • Dual Capacity Framework Professional Development: $250,000
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Literacy Interventions: $75,000
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Support for Expanded High Five: $969,780
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Support for High Five Summer Program: $132,202
  • Early Childhood Transition to Kindergarten Development: $183,678
  • Early Reading Strategies Professional Development: $2,000,000
  • Embodied Math Strategies Curriculum and Professional Development: $400,000
  • Emergency Management Service & Supplies: $1,070,562
  • ESP (Educational Assistants) Professional Development for Climate and Equity: $1,200,000
  • ESSER Finance Support Staff: $660,168
  • Expand Summer Field Trips: $100,000
  • Expanded Afterschool and Summer Freedom School Programming: $1,666,666
  • Expanded GEMS/GISE to two additional summer locations: $300,000
  • Expanded summer programing opportunities: $300,000
  • Expanded Summer High Five: $1,871,987
  • Expanded Super Summer (Community Education): $166,666
  • Experiential Learning Contracts (Vendor Contracts): $3,300,000
  • Experiential Learning Grades 6-12 (Licensed Staff): $1,145,010
  • Family Engagement Supplies: $20,000
  • Formal Student Collaboration City Wide Board and YPE to review ESSER investments: $434,125
  • Functional Communication Intervention Development for Special Education: $150,000
  • Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Supplies: $250,000
  • Graduation Coaches-Indian Education: $125,024
  • Graduation Coaches-Multilingual: $250,048
  • Graduation Coaches-Office of Black Student Achievement: $125,024
  • High School-to-Educator Pathway: $550,000
  • Homeless/Highly Mobile (HHM) Student Literacy Project: $60,000
  • Homeless/Highly Mobile (HHM) Student Summer Programming: $50,000
  • Human Resource Consultants: $531,004
  • iNCI (Nonviolent Crisis Intervention) Train the Trainer Support: $219,000
  • iNCI (Nonviolent Crisis Intervention) Training for additional support staff: $466,666
  • Increase AVID Tutors: $395,211
  • K-5 Special Education Literacy Materials: $156,200
  • Lifeguards for 3 Middle School Pools: $339,117
  • Maintain HEPA and MERV 14 air filters: $2,295,300
  • Math Recovery Intervention Professional Development/Materials (Special Ed): $720,000
  • Math Tradebook Sets Grades 6-12: $460,000
  • Meal Support for MPS Online School: $2,374,965
  • Mental Health (Support Special Specialists and Cultural Consultancy): $306,107
  • Mental Health Student Support Groups: $75,000
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Tracking System: $700,000
  • Multilingual Digital Learning Tool/Digital Literacy: $976,141
  • Operations Support for Academic Programs and Materials: $2,200,000
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies: $150,000
  • PRESS (Literacy) Professional Development: $32,000
  • Reading Apprenticeship (Literacy) Professional Development: $202,384
  • Reading Partners (Literacy Tutoring) additional site: $90,000
  • Restorative Practices Training: $200,000
  • School Improvement & Academic Data System to support MTSS: $500,000
  • School Spirit Sports Camps: $380,868
  • Secondary Literacy Interventions Professional Development: $474,290
  • Secondary Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Interventions for Special Education: $450,000
  • Site-based Parent Participatory Evaluation expansion: $400,000
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)/Anti-Bias Curriculum: $600,000
  • South High American Indian Staff and Professional Development: $406,105
  • Special Education Data Warehouse: $420,000
  • Special Education Elementary Support for Literacy Support at 3 Schools: $618,321
  • Special Education Evaluations Extended Time and Support: $300,000
  • Special Education Expanded Summer Programming: $1,600,000
  • Special Education Interventions (K-12): $600,000
  • Staff/Program Continuity: $74,628,539
  • Students of Color Mentorship Program for students in college credit courses: $60,000
  • Summer Scholars Sailing School Extended Learning Opportunities: $80,000
  • Swimming Education Supplies for Students: $310,453
  • Teacher Licensure Pathways: $1,283,547
  • Technology Universal Access (Devices): $14,040,000
  • Technology Universal Access Literacy Software: $168,000
  • Telescope Math Teachers: $824,425
  • Transportation Support for Academic Programs and Materials: $2,437,867
  • Washers & Dryers: $223,800
  • We Want You Back Expanded Support: $322,872
  • World Language Additional Reading Materials: $70,000
  • Youth Language Arts and Advisory Council: $37,420


These funding recommendations aim to address the serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Minneapolis Public Schools students.

They align with MPS’ community driven, long-term vision for our district and are grounded in equity, transparency and accountability.

These recommendations were informed by thoughtful feedback received from Minneapolis parents, partners and community members.

(See full Board of Education, September, 14, 2021 presentation.)

Guiding Principles:  Equity. Engagement.

Ensuring people closest to our students families, teachers, partners and school communities have a significant voice in shaping how this federal money is spent.

MPS Commitments

A commitment to equity that targets funds to students most impacted by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic barriers to access and opportunity.

A commitment to lift up voices of families, students, partners and community members.

A commitment to transparency and accountability for decision-making and use of all.

What did the community tell us?

  • Virtually all input and recommendations fell into broad themes or categories:
  • Social-emotional and mental health
  • Academic programs to address learning disruption
  • Safe and healthy buildings and facilities
  • Expectations for transparency and accountability
  • Equitable high-quality talent acquisition and maintenance
  • Community collaboration and partnership

How did MPS engage the community?

1. ESSER III Stakeholder Advisory Committee:  Within weeks of learning about the ESSER III funds, convened an advisory committee (staff members, union reps, students and families, and community partners) to help make recommendations to inform the district’s plan.

2. Digital Communications:  Regular emails and online posts drove stakeholders to our webpages, which included a simple feedback form completed and returned by 70 individuals.

3. Tribal Consultation:  A meeting with the Tribal Nations Education Committee (TNEC) to gather input about how the funds could be used to support American Indian students.

4. Direct Community Input:  Partners and  stakeholders provided direct input to the Superintendent and MPS leaders.

Considerations in Addition to Community Feedback

To ensure the MPS plan addresses the immediate needs of students, is aligned with the district’s long term vision and goals, and adheres to state and federal requirements, MPS also considered:

  • MPS Board Values
  • Comprehensive District Design (CDD) Goals
  • Federal Guidance
  • Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Priorities

Building the Plan

With community feedback in hand, along with other important considerations, Superintendent Graff and his leadership team developed a comprehensive list of potential investments focused on:

  • Student/family need related to COVID-19
  • Alignment with strategic direction developed with extensive community input over the past three years
  • Each individual recommendation was reviewed and prioritized through the lens of professional expertise, community priorities, equity, and expected impact.