Department of Education approves Virginia’s plan to use American Rescue Plan funds to support K-12 schools

Posted at 9:30 AM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 09:31:05-04

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Education has announced the approval of Virginia’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan and distributed more than $704 million remaining ARP ESSER funds to Virginia.

“As Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, delivering significant support to Virginia’s schools was one of my top priorities. I was proud to vote for the unprecedented amount of education funding in the American Rescue Plan, including $2.1 billion for K-12 schools across the Commonwealth,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “This funding has helped Virginia’s schools reopen safely, stay open and recover lost time in the classroom. I am pleased that the final disbursement of funds will help keep students safe in the classroom and continue in person learning.”

Two-thirds of the ARP ESSER funds, totaling $81 billion, was distributed to the entire U.S. earlier this year. The remaining third of the funding to states was just made available to Virginia with the new approval of the state plan. Virginia’s approval makes it now a total of 44 ARP ESSER state plans that have been approved since June.

Related: Hampton City Schools awarded $5.4M in funding to address impacts of COVID-19 on students

The ARP ESSER state plans will focus on returning to in-person learning in 2021, addressing the academic impact of lost instructional time, and instructional staffing to support students needs.

“I’m pleased to see federal funding from the American Rescue Plan go toward helping equip Virginia schools with vital resources to address the impacts of the pandemic on students’ learning,” said Senator Tim Kaine.

The distribution of ARP ESSER funds is part of the Department’s broader effort to support students and districts as they work to re-engage students impacted by the pandemic, address inequities exacerbated by COVID-19, and build our education system back better than before.

“It is heartening to see, reflected in these state plans, the ways in which states are thinking deeply about how to use American Rescue Plan funds to continue to provide critical support to schools and communities, particularly as we enter the upcoming academic year. The approval of these plans enables states to receive vital, additional American Rescue Plan funds to quickly and safely reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning; meet students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs; and address disparities in access to educational opportunity that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.