The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has received $1,021,690,359 in federal emergency relief funding to improve student learning, address unfinished learning, support students’ mental health and combat pandemic-related challenges. The three federal emergency relief acts are:
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020 to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools.
- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act enacted on December 27, 2020 to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 related to addressing learning loss, preparing schools for reopening, and testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
- American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act enacted on March 11, 2021 to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund is administered by the United States Department of Education. ESSER funds were distributed "to address diverse needs arising from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, or to emerge stronger post-pandemic, including responding to students' social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs and continuing to provide educational services as States and school administrative units (SAUs) respond to and recover from the pandemic." (Frequently Asked Questions, updated December 2022). Additional information about the three federal emergency relief acts can be found at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund.
Any use of ESSER funds must be “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to” the COVID-19 pandemic while being necessary and reasonable for the performance of the ESSER award. This means that transferring funds to a rainy-day fund, bridging a budget shortfall that is not related to the pandemic, and providing matching funds for other federal programs are not allowable.
OIG Hotline - Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
Think an institution is misusing or abusing ED funds? Do not let COVID-19 pandemic Education Stabilization Funding for Schools and Students end up in the wrong hands. File a complaint online with our Inspector General (OIG) or call their Hotline.