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State seeks public input on federal education funding plan

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is seeking community input on how to best use the state’s education funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).

The ARP provided Delaware with more than $410 million in supplemental federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding, known as ESSER III funding. To date, ARP ESSER III is the largest amount of emergency ESSER funding given to public education. Two-thirds of ESSER III funds are immediately available for states to distribute to districts and charter schools. Remaining funds will be made available once states, districts and charters develop ESSER III implementation plans. Under ESSER III

o DDOE, districts and charter schools will work together to develop strategic ESSER III plans that follow specific federal spending guidelines. Plans must be acted upon with urgency and with priority given to students who have experienced the greatest disruptions in learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
o States receive ESSER III funds based on the same proportion that each state receives under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title-IA.
o Districts and charters must reserve at least 20 percent of ESSER III funds to address learning loss.
o DDOE must reserve ESSER III funds at the state level as follows: 5 percent to address learning loss, 1 percent for afterschool activities, 1 percent for summer learning programs.
o DDOE has the option to reserve 10 percent of ESSER III funds for emergency needs as determined by the state plan to address issues responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DDOE has been seeking public input to develop the state plan. Secretary of Education Susan Bunting and Deputy Secretary of Education Christine Alois will host a virtual community conversation at 4 p.m. Thursday to share feedback received to date and to solicit additional input. Join the livestream here at 4 p.m. Thursday. Submit additional feedback at

Learn more about ESSER funding here.

Alison May
(302) 735-4006