Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund, created through the CARES Act, will grant Washington state $216 million, of which $195 million will be provided to school districts as sub-award using the Title I allocation methodology.
Posted March 23, 2021: Comparison of Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding Sources and State Funding. This document details some of the key similarities and differences of the federal COVID-19 relief funding streams including statewide total amounts, period of availability, allocation methodology, accounting revenue codes, and required uses of funding. As a reminder, each of these federal funding streams needs specific authorization from the legislature via law or unanticipated receipts process before OSPI can make funds available to districts.
Posted March 12, 2021: Combined ESSER Allocations By School District Including ESSER III Estimates. This document shows the combined total of ESSER I, II, and III by school district. ESSER III amounts are estimates only and are subject to change. The timing of the availability of funds will be determined by the legislature.
Posted March 1, 2021: Total ESSER II Awards Including Amounts Currently Available to Districts. Please see the spreadsheet for the final allocation amounts.
Posted June 25, 2020: A detailed questions and answers (Q&A) document for school districts about the distribution of ESSER funds, allowable uses, requirements, and more. As districts receive their portion of ESSER funds, OSPI has four priorities that we expect districts will make priorities in their work, as well.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136 was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provides substantial relief to students and educators who have been profoundly affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). CARES Act funding for nationwide distribution to school districts was set at $13.5 billion.
In addition to providing funding, the CARES Act authorized the U.S. Department of Education to provide flexibility through waivers of specific requirements in K–12 education funding and programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. More information about these waivers is available in OSPI Bulletin 032-20, published April 15, 2020.
Accounting for COVID-Related Expenditures
Posted July 1, 2020: The COVID-related expenditure tool is now available for ESSER I and ESSER II claims. In preparation for submitting claims for CARES Act funding disbursement, districts should follow the directions in the tool and submit their COVID-related expenditures since March 2020 using the applicable link:
The COVID-19 situation is considered a subsequent event for accounting purposes, which needs to be disclosed in the notes to the 2018–19 financial statements for school district audit reports that are being issued now. A subsequent event is a significant event that occurs after fiscal year end, but before the financial statements have been issued. The financial impacts may not be known at this time, but there are significant operational impacts and schools are operating in an environment that is vastly different than just a few months ago. OSPI has created a template for the note required to be added to the financial statement.
In addition, OSPI has prepared accounting guidelines to provide a framework through which districts can identify COVID-related expenditures. The guidelines also include a preview of the data reporting template for those expenditures. These expenditures will be reported through a supplemental reporting tool and will not be separately identified in each school district’s financial statement (F-196) this fall.
Posted June 25, 2020: OSPI is crafting guidance on how to quantify and report student FTE through a continuous learning or hybrid learning model for the 2020–21 school year. When the guidance is finalized, it will be posted to this section of the webpage.
Basic Education Funding Sources
Published May 4, 2020 is a high-level overview of the state budget with respect to basic education versus non-basic education funding sources. This document is for discussion purposes only, and is not intended to be legally binding. Questions on the included categories or characterizations should be directed to T.J. Kelly, Chief Financial Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-725-6301.