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Since President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law on March 11, 2021, state education agencies (SEAs) have been working to maximize the impact of the $122 billion in federal education funds to support students impacted by the pandemic. Here is a list of how state-level set-aside funding is being used to support summer enrichment, comprehensive afterschool, and learning recovery programs.

Using American Rescue Plan funds | Using other COVID relief funds | Examples of state and local partnerships

Using American Rescue Plan funds

Connecticut

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

The governor’s office announced a total of $11 million in funds to be directed towards the expansion of programs that connect students to summer learning opportunities. A competitive grant application will be launched for both expansion grants, which will offer up to $25,000 to local organizations that provide existing enrichment, and innovation grants, which will offer up to $250,000 to regional or statewide entities seeking to provide bold and innovative summer programming at scale. Application forms and additional information for summer enrichment grants.

Massachusetts

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

The Baker-Polito Administration announced the establishment of summer learning opportunities and the availability of more than $70 million in funding for school districts and community–based organizations to offer summer learning and recreational programs “that will help students, who have been impacted by a year of remote and hybrid learning, grow academically and socially.”

Among the funds allocated:

  • $3 million for camps and community organizations to expand education enrichment in  their summer programs.
  • Up to $15 million in Summer School Matching Grants for schools to enhance or expand summer programs offering in-person academic and recreational activities, including mental health and additional supports for students with IEPs or English learners.
  • Estimated $1 million for Summer Acceleration to College, offering credit-bearing math and English courses at no cost to recent high school graduates through local community colleges.
  • Up to $10 million for school districts to offer Summer Step Up, a new program offering summer learning opportunities in partnership with community organizations  to young learners entering school in the fall or who have had limited in-school experiences due to the pandemic.
  • $10 million for early literacy tutoring grants during the summer of 2021 and the 2021-2022 school year.

Minnesota

American Rescue Plan (State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund) plus other sources

On May 15, Governor Tim Walz announced a plan to fund enhanced summer learning programs in Minnesota to help students recover from the learning challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor allocated $75 million from the state’s flexible American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) administered at the federal level by the Department of Treasury to provide academic enrichment and mental health support this summer and beyond for Minnesota’s students, families, educators, communities, and schools. Funding includes:

  • Academic and Mental Health Support ($34.614 million) Public schools and districts will receive a general allocation in order to create partnerships with organizations and provide services in the following areas: expand mental health and well-being support to youth and adolescents attending school district and charter school summer learning programs; partner with community businesses and organizations to develop a summer mentor and/or tutoring model that covers enrichment programming and other costs such as transportation and meals to increase student participation; bring school-based summer programs into the community, providing opportunities for enrichment, social and emotional skill building, mental health support, and tutoring services; and provide students with summer field trips for hands-on learning opportunities. Hands-on learning opportunities include activities such as trips to nature centers, state parks, zoos, museums, or theaters.
  • Preschool for 4- and 5-Year-Olds ($20 million) This allocation provides preschool or prekindergarten to 4- and 5-year-olds. These funds can be used in a Parent Aware star-rated, public or private, preschool, or prekindergarten in-person learning program. These high-quality early learning programs help children develop their social-emotional skills before they begin kindergarten.
  • School-Linked Mental Health Grants ($6.011 million) This investment in School-linked Mental Health Grants, administered by the Department of Human Services, will address an increased need for community mental health services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Expanded Access to Tutoring ($3.25 million) The Governor will expand access to tutoring services including academic enrichment, mental health support, and other wrap-around services for K-12 children by providing grants to experienced entities, including community organizations.

New Hampshire

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

The state Department of Education and Prenda schools collaborated to offer the Recovering Bright Futures program, a grant opportunity to establish learning pods for students in fall 2021 utilizing American Rescue Plan state set-aside funds. School districts and communities can apply for funds to create District Learning ods, as well as Community Learning pods for students who do not have access to a District Learning pod.

The state is also using COVID-19 recovery funds to partner with New Hampshire camps and school-age summer programs for its Rekindling Curiosity program. Through the program, up to $650 per child in camp fees can be covered by the state Department of Education. Eligible programs can learn more through the Rekindling Curiosity FAQ.

North Dakota

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

According to the proposed North Dakota state ARP ESSER plan, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) plans to spend 1% of the state’s total allocation of ARP ESSER funds for evidence-based comprehensive afterschool programs ($3,052,699) to offer a before and after school grant opportunity statewide. Eligible applicants include school districts, community-based organizations such as the Boys/Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and other agencies providing services to schools. Approximately one-third of North Dakota school districts receive 21st CCLC funding for afterschool programming, therefore the remaining two-thirds of school districts will be targeted for this new afterschool grant opportunity, in addition to a wide variety of community-based organizations.

Oklahoma

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

In early May the Oklahoma State Department of Education announced plans to invest a minimum of $14 million in federal stimulus funds for summer enrichment through 2023 as part ARP ESSER state set aside funds. Additionally, individual school districts are leveraging their own federal aid to expand student learning opportunities after the school year ends this month. The $14 million initiative, called Ready Together Oklahoma, utilizes the 1 percent set aside of state funds for summer enrichment and encourages summer programs to take a "whole child" holistic approach to aid student recovery, address academic loss and provide food, extracurricular activities, and mental health support. The state Education Department will award $6 million to the Oklahoma Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs and the Oklahoma Alliance of YMCAs to provide youth summer programming.

 

The state agency will announce more available grants in the coming weeks for non-profits to offer summer and afterschool opportunities.

Oregon

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

In March 2021, Governor Kate Brown made a commitment to summer learning and child care in a restorative funding package worth about $325 million, including $75 million in federal funds. The package includes $90 million in Summer Enrichment and Academic Program Grants for K-8 students to include culturally relevant programming through school districts and partners with enrichments and attention to social, emotional and mental health supports, and $72 million in Summer Academic Support Grants for high school students. Moreover, $40 million in grants will be specifically reserved for community-based partners to provide enriching summer programming. An additional $30 million in School Child Care Grants will go to encourage partnerships between Title I schools and Tribes and community-based partners that can help provide important wrap around services.

South Carolina

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

The governor's office announced a $12.05 million investment in the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), with funds allocated as follows:

  • $4.8 million for community-based and evidenced-based therapy programs targeted to keep children in school and living at home. The therapists will work within the homes, schools, and communities to address the mental health and risky behaviors of students. Family therapists will also provide intensive in-home family counseling. 
  • $4.0 million for the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance to work with DJJ to provide summer and after-school programs to at-risk middle school students in primarily rural areas.
  • $2.0 million for full-time mentoring programs that support education and life skills development. The objective is to decrease incarceration and out-of-home placement rates by reducing crime, and anti-social behaviors such as drug abuse. 
  • $1.25 million for Teen After-School Centers, which support at-risk high school students. These centers have documented success in reducing recidivism, absences, and out-of-school suspensions while improving grades. DJJ will provide GED testing to youth through the Centers.

Utah

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is working to align the two ARP ESSER state set aside funding streams for evidence-based summer learning and evidenced-based afterschool programming into one competitive grant application process. The combined grant programs would make approximately $12.3 million available to afterschool and summer learning providers. The SEA made the decision with input from community leaders, who noted that the foundational partnerships between Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) were strongest if it was a year-round effort to support students and families.

Vermont

American Rescue Plan (ESSER)

Summer Matters for All Grant Program, a collaboration between Vermont Afterschool, Governor Phil Scott’s office, Senator Bernie Sanders’ office, and the Vermont Agency of Education, made awards to 39 summer programs in late May. This was a highly competitive process with 188 proposals submitting $7,427,584 in requests, which far exceeded the available funding of $1.5 million. Grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000 were awarded to non-profit organizations and other youth-serving entities seeking to create or expand summer learning programs for K-12 children and youth. 

Wisconsin

American Rescue Plan (State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund)

The governor’s office announced $50 million in grants through their “Beyond the Classroom” program. Non-profit organizations that serve school-age kids virtually and in-person outside of school and during the summer months are able to apply for up to $500,000 each. The funds were provided through the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) administered at the federal level by the Department of Treasury

Using other COVID relief funds

Arizona

CARES Act

On April 29, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that the state was distributing $26.5 million to “support summer learning programs, reach struggling students, enhance student achievement and expand tutoring opportunities.” The investments included $5,000,000 for Boys and Girls Clubs Summer Programming to start in May and go through summer 2021. The dollars being distributed by the state came from Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020.

Maryland

CARES Act

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan launched “Project Bounce Back,” an effort to help kids recover from the stress and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic, funded by $25 million in federal aid. Project Bounce Back will rely on a public-private partnership between state education and crime prevention agencies, the Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland and a series of private businesses. The funding was provided through the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the Department of Justice as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program authorized by the CARES Act of March 2020.

Michigan

CRRSA Act

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Michigan Public Act 3 of 2021 which appropriates $152.4 million in federal funding for summer programming, credit recovery, and before- and afterschool programming as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II Fund that was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. In addition, $10 million in state aid funding was appropriated for innovative summer programming or credit recovery programs, including:

  • $90 million in federal funding allocated for grades K-8 summer programs that are offered as part of COVID-19 remediation services.
  • $17.4 million in federal funding allocated for before-school, afterschool, or before-and afterschool programs
  • $10 million in state school aid funding allocated for innovative summer and credit recovery programming

North Carolina

CARES Act

North Carolina’s governor committed $20 million in March 2020 relief funds for state-level grants to the Department of Education to support at risk students with additional supports such as afterschool programming.

South Carolina

CARES Act

Governor McMaster announced a $12.05 million investment in the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), with funds allocated to programs dedicated to supporting at-risk youth through multi-faceted counseling programs for youth and families, mentoring programs that develop education and life skills, and fund teen after-school centers.

The funding is made possible through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

West Virginia

CARES Act

Through their Summer Opportunities for Learning and Engagement (SOLE) grants, the state Department of Education leveraged nearly $34 million of CARES Act to pay for summer remediation programs for K-12 students. Eligible summer learning programs must offer full-day programming four days per week for at least four weeks. Funds will be used to offer students academics, enrichment, transportation, and meals, with high school students also participating in college prep activities.

Examples of partnerships

California

City and county level partnerships

In San Francisco, the mayor worked with the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, the Recreation and Parks Department, libraries and community-based agencies to establish the Community Hub Initiative to support students across the city during virtual and hybrid learning. The model leverages the connections community providers have with families to reach out to eligible participants, specifically prioritizing the most in-need demographic groups. This summer, the city is leveraging city funds with a philanthropic gift to continue to expand on the model through a Summer Together Initiative. The new initiative includes the city, school district and community organization to provide students impacted by learning loss with “meaningful, fun, and academic integrated programming and experiences.”

Connecticut

Local level partnerships

In Hartford, Superintendent Dr. Torres-Rodriguez is committed to working with community-based partners to provide enrichment, healthy peer relationships, positive youth development opportunities, and college and career readiness. She is establishing an “all-call” meeting for all community partners to discuss the districts vision for summer, including space, facilities, and ways they can work together to meet the needs of students. In an interview with Dean Thompson at the University of Hartford, Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez said, “I need help from our partners to help us help our students find joy and then begin to build their relationships again, not only with their peers, but with their community.”

Maryland

School level partnerships

In Gaithersburg, a youth program called Identity worked to identify students who seemed disconnected, emotionally withdrawn, and struggling to create a “study bubble” within its learning hub programming to ensure these students received additional attention to stay engaged and healthy. The program also runs a Safety Ambassadors program, during which students receive seven weeks of training to become peer educators on COVID and related resources, offering a good opportunity for English language learning students to practice their English skills and include as experience on their future resumes

County level partnerships

In Prince George’s County a non-profit arts provider, Joe’s Movement Emporium, stepped up during the pandemic to support the children of essential workers with programming during the virtual school day and over the summer. The program also integrated movement into school’s online learning programs and found increased levels of engagement as a result. As the school system reopens, the community-based organization is communicating with school-day teachers on how to continue to provide students with movement-based learning, aiming to establish a continued partnership between the school and partners that bring additional enrichment and engagement for students, as well as new types of professional development for school day staff.

Oklahoma

School district partnership

The school district in Tulsa pivoted early in the pandemic to working with community partners, including the Tulsa Opportunity Project and Tulsa United Way, to help support families with remote learning, meals, and access to resources. In summer 2021 and the following school year, the district is continuing to coordinate with partners and working to offer free summer and afterschool opportunities that combine learning and enrichment, as well as credit for older students, to all learners.

Wisconsin

City and county partnership

In Madison, the city was able to lean on a pre-existing collaborative organization between the city, county, metropolitan school district and more than 45 youth serving providers, known as Madison Out of School Time (MOST), to coordinate throughout the pandemic. MOST worked with participating programs to provide meals, snacks, nurses for COVID-19 screenings, and social workers, among other resources.