The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund, authorized under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, provides nearly $122 billion to states to support the nation’s schools in safely reopening and sustaining safe operations of schools while meeting the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESSER III State Plan
On Aug. 5, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education formally approved the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (Department) ESSER III State plan and awarded the Department $412.3 million to move forward with implementation.
The ESSER III funds were authorized to provide funding to support Hawaii’s schools in safely reopening and to mitigate learning loss. Of the total funds awarded:
A minimum of 23% is required to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions for students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic;
A minimum of 1% is required to fund summer enrichment programs; and
A minimum of 1% is required to fund comprehensive after-school programs.
ESSER Educational Plan and Fiscal Plan
At the Hawaii State Board of Education’s Oct. 21, 2021, Student Achievement and Finance and Infrastructure joint committees meeting, the Department was given the direction to create an educational plan. The educational plan is part of a three-part framework to include a fiscal plan and detailed expenditure report. Following this directive, the ESSER Educational Plan and Fiscal Plan was created. On December 16, 2021 the ESSER Educational Plan and Fiscal Plan was approved by the Board of Education.
Each school, with guidance and support from their complex area superintendents, is implementing and developing specific programs and interventions based on the needs of their students. Revolving around the pillars of health and safety, accelerated learning, and social-emotional learning, the ESSER Educational Plan outlines the overarching system-wide strategic actions necessary to support students who have been impacted by COVID-19.
ESSER III Maintenance of Equity
The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief III (ESSER III-ARP) grant includes a Maintenance of Equity (MOEquity) provision that state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) must report on for fiscal years 2022 (FY22) and 2023 (FY23).
As a unitary system, Hawaii is exempt from the SEA provisions of the MOEquity requirements. Additionally, because the Hawaii State Department of Education has not implemented an aggregate reduction in combined State and local per-pupil funding for FY22 it is also exempt from the LEA MOEquity requirements for FY22.
Monthly Expenditure Reports
Quarterly Educational Plan Metrics
Feedback: The Department is finalizing the ESSER Educational Plan, and continues to solicit feedback from the public. If you are interested in providing feedback, please complete this feedback form.
Contact: Should you have any questions please contact the Policy, Innovation, Planning and Evaluation Branch via email at email@example.com or by phone at (808) 586-3800.