The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) I grant program is authorized in Title VIII, Division B, of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March 2020. ESSER I Federal grant funds were allocated to Dripping Springs ISD, on March 13, 2020, in the amount of $246,592. The intent and purpose of the CARES Act education funding is to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. In a TEA training on August 10, 2020 (minute 15:40), it was made clear that districts could expect that ESSER I funds would be needed to offset anticipated reductions in local funds (foundation school program). Because of this, DSISD, like most school districts across Texas, did not receive supplemental funding; instead, the ESSER I funds were used to carry out regular operating costs.

    The ESSER II grant program was authorized in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA), signed into law in December 2020. DSISD was allocated $1,079,812. Although Federal, once again, the funding source does not follow the “supplement not supplant” rule. In an FAQ released by TEA regarding attendance and enrollment, it was explained that, “TEA will reduce total Refined ADA in an amount necessary to ensure each Local Education Agency (LEA) – school districts – receives total state and ESSER II funding equal to the amount that would have been available through the FSP (Foundation School Program) while receiving the benefit of the “hold harmless” provision from the state. In short, this means that districts should anticipate ESSER II funds to offset another year of reduced local funding.

    The American Rescue Plan Act, passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding, known as the ESSER III Fund. The intent and purpose of the funding is to help safely reopen and sustain safe operation of schools and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. Dripping Springs ISD was allocated a total of $2,425,888 in ESSER III funds. Districts receive the funding in two allocations: an initial two-thirds allocation, and a remaining one-third allocation. As required of the grant, school districts must expend a minimum of 20 percent of the grant fund on evidence-based interventions; and, ensure interventions respond to students’ academic, social and emotional needs, and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain students’ populations. 

    Per grant guidelines, prior to the submission of a use of funds plan to TEA, Dripping Springs ISD held a public meeting on June 9 to present information on the ESSER III Fund and collect feedback from stakeholders on how to use these funds to support students heading into the 2021-22 school year. Presentation materials can be found here.

    Initial ESSER III Allocation: $1,616,737
    Remaining Allocation: $809,151
    Final Allocation: $2,425,888

    Dripping Springs ISD has met the criteria to receive ESSER Supplemental funds. The district has been allocated $1,303,802 for fiscal year 2022 and $1,303,803 for fiscal year 2023 (a total of $2,607,605) in ESSER Supplemental funds.

    With certain allotments of ESSER funding, meaningful stakeholder input is required. This stakeholder feedback is designed to help districts use the funds in alignment with the community. To ensure maximum feedback from our stakeholders, the district created a survey to gather input related to these ESSER Supplemental funds. The survey was open to the community from Feb. 28-Mar. 14, 2022; survey results can be found here

    A side-by-side review of ESSER I, II, and III funds can be found here. ESSER Supplemental was appropriated after ESSER III funding and following the district's initial process to collect feedback about how our stakeholders would like the funds to be used. Therefore, ESSER Supplemental is not included in the side-by-side review.    

    DSISD ESSER III Use of Funds Plan (English)
    DSISD ESSER III Use of Funds Plan (Spanish)
    ESSER III Program Plan
    ESSER III Program Narrative

    • Addressing the Needs of Special Populations
    • Other Education Services During Closure
    • Mental Health Services
    • Summer Learning
    • After-school Programs
    • Address Learning Loss with Assessments*
    • Address Learning Loss with Evidence-Based Activities*
    • Address Learning Loss with Parent/Family Support*
    • Address Learning Loss Tracking/Engaging Students*
    • Continue to employ existing staff
    • Other Operational Activities
    • Improve Indoor Air Quality (window/door repair/replace, filter/purity, fans, controls, heating, ventilation, A/C)
    • Facility Repair to Reduce Virus Spread and Support Health
    • Educational Technology
    • Providing IDEA Services During Closure
    • Online Learning
    • Activities During Long-Term Closures
    • Purchase Supplies to Sanitize/Clean
    • Training on Infectious Disease
    • Improve Response Procedures
    • Coordinate COVID-19 Health Response
    • Carl Perkins CTE Act
    • Adult Education and Family Literacy
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV 

    *Minimum of 20% of total ESSER III funds to address learning loss 

    Based on an ongoing, comprehensive needs assessment, release of student achievement data, finalization of previous year budgets and anticipated reductions in next year’s local funding, the following proposed uses of funding were prioritized:

    • Summer Learning - $485,737
    • Educational Technology - $640,000
    • Intervention Materials - $181,000
    • Behavior Support - $160,000
    • Final 1/3 (TBD) – If FSP (Foundation School Program) is reduced, the final $808,368 allocation would be used to employ current staff and sustain operating costs.

    • IDEA Contracted Services, Behavior Support, Evaluation - $150,000
    • Summer Learning - $147,570
    • Educational Technology - $640,000
    • Intervention Materials - $181,000
    • Addressing Learning Loss - $157,116
    • Mental Health - $500,000
    • Set Aside - $649,419