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One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

One-time COVID funds (ESSER)

MPS seeks community partners to support COVID-19 impacted students this August

Jan. 31, 2022

Twin Cities-based community organizations with culturally based programming are encouraged to propose ways they can support MPS students this summer during the month of August. This ESSER III-funded opportunity is 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.

Read the full announcement

Visit the American Rescue Plan/ESSER III page for a list of other investments MPS is making with ESSER III funds.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Education website for more information about ESSER III funds.

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:

GEER CRF ESSER I ESSER II ARP/ESSER III Total
$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