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One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

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 offer 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.


MPS One-Time COVID Funds Overview

The MPS ESSER III plan was shaped by feedback from the MPS American Rescue Plan Stakeholder Committee (including staff members, union representatives, students and families, and community partners), American Indian tribal consultation, an online submission form, and direct input from individuals and organizations.

To support school districts with unexpected costs from the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state governments began offering one-time funding to school districts. This money is being provided to address academic achievement, supplement technology expenses, ensure clean and healthy learning environments, invest in comprehensive support for students and school communities, and to stabilize and diversify the educator workforce.

So far, there have been five funding sources for Minnesota school districts:

Because the grant funds are only available over a three-year period, MPS is looking to prioritize investments that will not incur ongoing costs once the grant has ended. We are committed to ensuring that any ESSER-funded programs or services ESSER funds can be sustained once the grant ends.  While some temporary staff may be hired to help implement programs that are identified as priorities, hiring additional permanent staff or expanding programs with significant ongoing costs are less likely options for funding. 
We will also consider using some of the federal dollars to ensure sufficient staffing levels and ensure continuity of existing programs and services. In recent years, declining student enrollment, insufficient state funding and increased costs have made it difficult for MPS to maintain the high quality programs and opportunities families expect. Using a portion of the federal ESSER III Funds to stabilize the district’s budget is allowable under the American Rescue Plan and likely will be part of helping us realize the district’s short- and longer-term goals.
On this site, you can learn more about each of the funding areas, how MPS has been investing in students and schools, and provide feedback on how MPS should budget and spend the nearly $160 million available through the American Rescue Plan. Some key things to note are:
  • ESSER I funds are budgeted to address COVID-19 impacts in school-year 2020-21 and 2021-22
  • ESSER II funds are budgeted to address COVID-19 impacts in school-year 2021-22
  • Per the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), ESSER I & II must be spent before ESSER III
  • Districts should avoid recurring expenditures with these one-time dollars

Minneapolis Public Schools funding:

$1,464,204 $10,929,242 $18,705,817 $71,005,780 $159,468,895 $261,573,938

Prioritizing spending (from MDE)

MDE graphic showing tiers of student needs