• Overview of Federal Funds: Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)

    The COVID-19 pandemic solicited a multi-billion dollar response from the federal government to support public education across the country during the health crisis. The stimulus funding for schools to contend with the impact of the pandemic was termed Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and there were three rounds of funding between March 2020 and March 2021.

Overview of Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Federal Funds ESSER I, II, III
  • *Totals are projected balance after pass through and other allocation requirements per federal and state relief guidelines as of April 2022.

  • The projected overall ESSER funding awarded to the District and its partners is almost $115 million. There is approximately $75 million in remaining funds to invest as a response to the impact and subsequent recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    When CARES Act (ESSER I) funding became available to support and maintain operations, the District’s initial investment focus was to address immediate and urgent needs. ESSER I funded preparations for hybrid learning, health-related materials and supplies such as masks, contracts with agencies to sanitize buildings, funding at the emergency operations center and planning/materials for home learning.

    CRRSA (ESSER II) funding was used to get schools ready for in-person learning; funds were utilized for facility upgrades like  Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, building modifications and classroom modifications. The funding was also used to ensure there was enough personal protective equipment for in-person learning.

    As the pandemic continued, additional needs surfaced and therefore, additional federal relief was appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA or ESSER III). To further enhance our approach to prioritizing this third round of ESSER funding, under guidance from the Oregon Department of Education, we leveraged the feedback from our Student Investment Account community engagement. In 2019, PPS engaged many diverse groups of community stakeholders to design our Student Investment Account (SIA) plan and garnered tremendous community feedback.

    We leveraged the SIA feedback and additionally, engaged in targeted community outreach (e.g. incarcerated youth, migrant community, RESJ community partners) to inform and reaffirm our investment priorities. As a result, Portland Public Schools has braided SIA and ESSER funds for pandemic needs that manifested across five general areas:

    1. Facility Projects
    2. Technology Initiatives
    3. Social Emotional & Mental Health Services
    4. Safe Operation of Schools and Covid Costs
    5. Addressing Student Learning Needs

    As the District learns more about the impact of COVID-19, and balances sustainable investments with these one-time funds, PPS will continuously engage with our communities to learn more about pandemic needs in order to  further align our ongoing resources with our Strategic Plan and Student Investment Account (SIA) commitments so that we may emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Projected ESSER Investment Plan Through September 2024

Projected ESSER Investment Plan Through September 2024
  • *Totals are projected balance after pass through and other allocation requirements per federal and state relief guidelines as of April 2022.