ESSER Funds: The Federal government has responded to the pandemic through a series of relief/stimulus bills which include the CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and most recently the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Each of these Acts designates funds specifically for K-12 relief to be issued to the states, who in turn distribute funds to school districts. These K-12 relief funds are known as "Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief" (ESSER) funds (ESSER Phase I, II, & III, corresponding to each relief act). Camas' allocation is as follows:
Stabilization Funds: In addition, the State of Washington has recognized that the unexpected decline in student enrollment due to COVID placed financial hardship on districts statewide, and in response approved "Enrollment Stabilization" and "Transportation Stabilization" funding. The sum total of these funds are as follows:
Combined, the ESSER and Stabilization funds total $7M, although those funds are spread across multiple out-years.
CSD needs can be captured in expenditures directly related to the COVID pandemic and revenue losses as a result of the pandemic, both of which may be claimed for federal grant reimbursement under ESSER I, II, & III.
ESSER Funds Awarded
ESSER funds are federal monies, distributed through the state. States must distribute these funds using the Federal Title I methodology, which is based upon the district's percentage of low-income students, rather than using a methodology tied to actual enrollment loss. Due to this unfavorable ESSER allocation methodology, Camas continues to receive by far the lowest per student COVID relief in Clark County. In recognition of this, the state approved the $1.1M addition of "Per-Student Stabilization" funds mentioned above.
Phase I: ESSER funds under CARES Act (relief bill passed Mar 27, 2020) - $333,095
WA state was allocated $216M in federal relief, $195M of which was sub-awarded to school districts. From there, it was distributed based on the "Title I" methodology, which relies on low income student percentages to determine funds eligibility. This reduced the relative availability of funds for Camas given the overall student demographic. Camas received $46/student, which was significantly less than other Clark County districts.
CSD acted early in the claim process. Camas applied for and received $333,095 in CARES act funding, posted to our accounts in August 2020. It therefore shows up in 2019-2020 vice 2020-21 revenues. Districts were either able to claim money based on COVID expenses, or based on lost revenue due to COVID. Because our distribution was low relative to other districts (per Title I distribution), Camas chose to claim all of the money in lost revenue (i.e. we had enough lost revenue to cover the full allocation). You can see the lost revenue breakdown on the chart above.
Phase II: ESSER funds under the Coronavirus and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (relief bill passes Dec 27, 2020) - $671,767
Camas has been allocated $672k in ESSER II funds, which may be claimed through 2023.
Because ESSER fund allocation is based on student family income (low income %, also known as Title I) rather than enrollment change, Camas will be at a significant disadvantage relative to other districts. This is outlined in the fact sheet below:
Phase III: ESSER funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (passed 11 Mar, 2021) - $1,509,000
ESSER III funds will be claimed by Camas primarily to offset salaries and benefits utilized to support learning loss and basic educational activities related to teaching in a COVID environment. At least 20% of these funds must be claimed against "learning loss" mitigation, which will initially consist of summer school programs.