American Rescue Plan Act provides funding for public schools and colleges

American Rescue Plan Act provides funding for public schools and colleges


Federal aid to benefit state and local public education

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021, provides substantial resources for Massachusetts schools, colleges and universities. It also provides funding for individuals, for other targeted priorities, and for state and local governments.

The information is now available on the education funding itself and on the aid to state and local governments that can also be used to support public education. The following are some important points:

  • The funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – known as ESSER III – provides $1,657,626,171 for elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts. The funds are available beginning July 1, but districts have until October 4 to apply. They are required to consult with stakeholders including educators and their unions in developing their plans for using the funds. The funds can be used can be used into FY2024.
  • The funding for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – known as HEERF III – provides an estimated $432,794, 957 for community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts system (and modest additional amounts for those that are minority serving institutions). About half of the funding is required to be used for grants to students. The funds can be used into FY2024.
  • In addition to the funding specifically targeted for education, our state government will receive about $4.5 billion, and local governments will receive about $3.4 billion. Those funds can also be used to support the education of students in elementary and secondary schools and our institutions of public higher education. The local funds will be divided between 2021 and 2022 and be available for use through 2024. Go here for a description of the allowable uses for these funds.

Funding ARPA Primer USE OF ESSER FUNDS