ESSER & Recovery Funding

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included over $120 billion for K-12 education in The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

Key Points

  • 90% of the ESSER funds must be allocated by State Education Agencies (SEAs) to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) according to Title I allocations. States were asked to submit their plans by June 7, 2021. State plans can be found here.
  • Allocations of funds by SEAs and LEAs must meet the following 2 requirements:
    • Maintenance of Effort: States must maintain support for K-12 in FY 2022 and 2023 at least at the proportional level of support averaged from 2017-2019
    • Maintenance of Equity: States shall not reduce funding per pupil for any high needs/high poverty school districts in FY 2022 and FY 2023.
  • 20% of money is designated to address “learning loss”. LEAs will likely use a greater proportion for programs targeting unfinished learning. 
  • School districts have broad discretion over how they spend the funds . 
  • Funds need to be expended by September 30, 2023. Unused funds will be returned and reallocated. 

More information on ESSER funds can be found in this fact sheet and FAQ document.

How Sphero Qualifies for ESSER funding

Below are a list of eligible uses for ESSER funding and a list of Sphero products that can be used for those uses. 

  1. Any activities authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, IDEA, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(A) through Section 2001(e)(2)(D).
    Compatible Products: indi, BOLT, littleBits, RVR 

  2. Activities that address unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youths, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population. ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(F).
    Compatible Products: indi, BOLT, RVR

  3. Purchasing educational technology, which could include hardware, software, and connectivity, for students served by the LEA that aids in regular, substantive educational interaction between students and educators, including low-income students and students with disabilities. This could also include assistive technology or adaptive equipment. ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(K).
    Compatible Products: indi, BOLT, littleBits, RVR

  4. Planning and implementing summer learning and supplemental afterschool program activities, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care. ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(M).
    Compatible Products: indi, BOLT, littleBits, RVR

  5. Addressing learning loss among all students in all subgroups, including by:  

    • Administering high-quality, reliable assessments that can assess student academic progress and assist educators in meeting student needs, including by using differentiated instruction.  
    • Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students. 
    • Providing information and assistance to parents and families on ways to support students.  
    • Tracking student performance and engagement in distance learning environments. ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(N).

    Compatible Products and Services: Cross-curricular lessons and activities in Computer Science Foundations, Sphero Edu, and littleBits classroom to support learning and increase engagement.