How to get ESSER Funds for Your Music Program
Federal Funding IS Available for Music Education!
What is ESSER?
The Elementary and Secondary School Educational Relief Fund (ESSER) is funding appropriated by the federal government to address the impact of COVID-19 on education. Two rounds of funding were made available to K-12 schools – ESSER 1 ($13.2 billion) in March 2020 and ESSER 2 ($54.3 billion) in January 2021. Every state was awarded ESSER funds and must distribute at least 90% of the funds to local school districts. School districts must request ESSER funds from their state.
ESSER 1 – States award funds to districts thru June 2021
ESSER 2 – States award funds to districts thru January 2022
ESSER 3 – States may award two-thirds of the funds to districts now
NOW is the time to ask for it!
An additional $126 billion (ESSER 3) in federal assistance from the recent $1.9 billion stimulus package is now available to K-12 schools to be spent on reducing classroom sizes, social and emotional learning (SEL), personal protective equipment (PPE), and more. Music classrooms can provide documentation to support these expectations in funding. The extra stimulus funding may enable some schools more flexibility in spending, and create opportunity for other budgeted dollars to be used to support music program needs.
DON’T miss this opportunity!
Think strategically. Evaluate and prioritize a list of safety and educational items you need to support music making in the classroom and remind your administration that music education programs are crucial in meeting the social and emotional needs of your students!
How Can I Access ESSER funds to help my Music Program?
- Learn how ESSER funds can be spent on music education. NAfME provides an easy reference guide HERE.
- Talk to key decision makers in your school about specific needs for your music program and share with them how the use of funds will benefit students.
- Write a detailed proposal with justifications to support your request.
- Know your school’s business process for making purchase requisitions and follow it appropriately.
See HOW other Music Educators Successfully secured ESSER funds!
Music educators across the nation are tapping into ESSER funds to help support their students and music classrooms. You can too!
“We were given $375,000 to purchase instruments for the high school and two middle school band programs in our district. Last August we put in a request with the district to replace many of our decades old instruments and bolster our inventory so students would not have to share horns. We thought there was a possibility that relief funds could help us in this situation. To our amazement, it has happened through the latest round of ESSER II funding that our district received. The ESSER funding didn’t directly purchase the instruments, but it allowed the district the flexibility to fund our request.”
Band Director in Oregon
“Our district-wide music programs were successful in securing two rounds of requests for ESSER funds. The first one for $300,000 was a pretty easy process. Funds were focused toward online resources that assisted teachers with monitoring student practice and tutoring. For the second $138,000 request, we had to help the folks in the district purchasing office understand why the PPE needs of specialized masks for instrument playing and singers are a bit different. Once they understood, the request was approved to be put through the bid process.”
Judith Hawkins, General and Choral Music Supervisor in Maryland
How I can help spread the word to my fellow music educators?
This is a once in a generation opportunity to get more funds for music education!
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