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Operation Expand Testing (ET)

This program, administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the US Department of Defense, has established four coordinating hubs to provide COVID-19 testing for K-8 schools and other “congregate settings” (e.g., homeless shelters and nursing homes) in their respective regions.
  • What it can be used for

    This program doesn’t give schools money directly. Instead, it gives school administrators and nurses the power to sign up their schools for COVID-19 testing, provided free of cost by their regional hub. Each hub is run by a different testing laboratory.
  • How it works

    Once a school is signed up, it’s paired with a logistics coordinator. School staff then receive training on how to administer tests and on the logistics of the testing process. Each hub works slightly differently, but all will be testing once or twice a week.
  • How to access it

    Click on the link for the hub in your geographic area. Each hub’s website includes information on how to register for the program.

    Midwest

    Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming

    Northeast and South
    (OperationExpandedTesting@AffinityEmpowering.com), (844)-631-0469)

    Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

    West
    (together@perkinelmer.com)

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pacific Islands, Washington

Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT)

This program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services provides turnkey COVID-19 testing solutions to schools in underserved areas.
  • What it can be used for

    Like Operation ET, ICATT provides free COVID-19 testing for K-12 schools. Compared to Operation ET, it’s more comprehensive and provides more operational support.
  • How it works

    Schools are paired with pharmacies and other local providers who set up a testing program that fits the school’s needs. Once the program is up and running, they help transition the school over to Operation ET.
  • How to access it

    This program is only available to schools in communities with significant needs, and may require recommendation from the state department of public health. Email icatt@hhs.gov to discuss the application process.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

This program was funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and is administered by the FCC. While it doesn’t address COVID-19 mitigation directly, it’s included here to help address one of the major challenges that arises when students have to quarantine or isolate: internet connectivity.
  • What it can be used for

    This program “provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

    “Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

    “The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.”

    In order to take advantage of this program, households must meet certain eligibility requirements.

  • How it works

    Individuals must apply for this benefit directly. The program is included here so that school staff can make members of their community aware that the program exists, and if necessary, help them to apply for the benefit.

    The FCC is currently planning a similar program specifically for schools.

  • How to access it

    All of the application information is available on this website. Applications can be submitted online, by mail, or through certain broadband providers.

ESSER

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund is part of the Education Stabilization Fund that was created by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020.
  • How it works

    ESSER funds flow from the federal government to state educational agencies (SEAs) - typically the state departments of education. Those agencies then distribute the funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) within their states.
  • How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: This directory includes a listing for your state educational agency, which disburses the money from this fund.

    ESSER FAQs from the US Department of Education.

    ESSER Fund Tracker: Includes how much each state has been allocated, with links to each state’s guidance for LEAs.

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)

The GEER fund was also created as part of the CARES Act. It received additional money from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA).

For K-12 purposes, Governors can use this money to provide grants to local education agencies (LEAs) or to other “education-related entities” such as non-public elementary and secondary schools, and charter management organizations. Per the US Department of Education, “If the recipients are LEAs, the state educational agency (SEA) must determine that the LEAs have been the “most significantly impacted by coronavirus” to be eligible for a GEER Fund emergency grant.”

ESSER II

ESSER II is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), which became law in December 2020.
  • What it can be used for

    This fund is very similar to the original ESSER fund. The states also have to use this fund “to measure and address learning loss among students disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and school closures, including: low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.”

    At least 20 percent of the funding that LEAs receive must be used to address learning loss.

  • How it works

    Like ESSER funds, ESSER II funds also flow from the federal government to state educational agencies (SEAs). However, unlike the CARES Act, the CRSSA Act includes a program specifically for non-public schools. As a result, “LEAs are not required to provide equitable services under ESSER II.” ESSER II funds must be tracked separately from other ESSER grants.
  • How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: This directory includes a listing for your state educational agency, which disburses the money from this fund.

National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities

This long-winded and acronymless initiative was funded under the 2021 version of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and is administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • What it can be used for

    Among other things, this money can be used for COVID mitigation and prevention, infrastructure projects that relate to COVID prevention and control. All of the money must be focused on populations that are underserved and at higher COVID risk.
  • How it works

    Within HHS, the CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS) is distributing this money to departments of health at the state and (for large and medium-sized cities) local level.
  • How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: Within your state or territory, look for either your statewide or territorial department of health or, if you’re in a large or medium-sized city, for your city health department.

    Q&A Document: Questions and answers from the informational call about this initiative in March 2021.

    Email CSTLTS directly about this initiative.

ARP ESSER

This third round of ESSER funding came via the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021.

What it can be used for

Local educational agencies (LEAs) must reserve at least 20% of their ARP ESSER grants “to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions ensure that those interventions respond to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.”

They also need to “address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care).”

The rest of the funds can be used for the same purposes as those allowed under ESSER and ESSER II.

US Department of Education ARP ESSER Fact Sheet: Page two to three of this document has the whole laundry list of activities for which these funds can be used.

Parsing the Evidence Requirements of Federal COVID Aid: This article from Future Ed, a publication from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, explains how schools can address the requirement “that educators a significant portion of the money on things that have been found through research to make a difference for students.”

Using ARP Funding to Support Full-Service Community Schools & Related Strategies: From the US Department of Education. These kinds of schools include “after-school programs, health and social services, and other comprehensive services. They can therefore help ensure that no child’s opportunities are determined by their zip code, family’s income, race/ethnicity, disability status, or other factors.”

  • How it works

    State educational agencies (SEAs) will disburse this money to local educational agencies. ARP ESSER funds must be tracked separately from other ESSER funds.
  • How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: This directory includes a listing for your state educational agency, which disburses the money from this fund.

American Rescue Plan Act - Education for Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY)

In addition to ARP-ESSER, the American Rescue Plan included funding specifically earmarked for homeless kids.

What it can be used for

Per the US Department of Education, these funds “must be used for the purposes of identifying homeless children and youth and providing homeless children and youth with (A) wrap-around services in light of the challenges of COVID–19; and (B) assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.”

They also have to be used in ways that are are allowed by Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) - Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) have to pay special attention to section 723(d) of that law.

For a full list of ways LEAs can use ARP-HCY funds, see pp. 3 - 5 of this document.

  • How it works

    Once again, state educational agencies (SEAs) will disburse this money to local educational agencies.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act American Rescue Plan (IDEA ARP) Funds

The March 2021 American Rescue Plan also included supplemental funding specifically for children and youth with disabilities. One part of it (Part B) is intended to help states provide “a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities ages 3 through 21.
  • What it can be used for

    Per the US Department of Education, local educational agencies (LEAs) must use Part B funds “only to pay the excess costs of providing special education and related services in accordance with part B of IDEA.” However, that does include “the purchase of equipment, including the alteration of existing facilities.”
  • How it works

    State educational agencies (SEAs) will disburse this money to local educational agencies.

American Rescue Plan Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (ARP EANS)

This funding is actually an extension of part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund that was set aside for non-public schools. However, the ARP version of this funding requires that it be used to “provide services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of low-income students and are most impacted by the [COVID-19] emergency.”
  • How it works

    While technically the ARP EAN grants from the federal government are awarded to the governors, the state education agencies (SEAs) will administer the funds.
  • How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: This directory includes a listing for your state educational agency, which disburses the money from this fund.

ELC Reopening Schools

The American Rescue Plan designated this money for the purpose of establishing asymptomatic COVID-19 testing programs in K-12 schools.

ELC Reopening Schools

The American Rescue Plan designated this money for the purpose of establishing asymptomatic COVID-19 testing programs in K-12 schools.
  • What it can be used for

    Per the US Department of Health and Human Services, at least 85 percent of it has to either go directly to school districts or it has to provide materials and services for screening testing. Up to 15 percent can be used for “coordination, management, technical assistance, monitoring, and data collection and reporting activities to support K-12 screening testing programs.”

    As of August 2021, this money can also be used for diagnostic testing, testing events that include the larger community, and for the purchase of portable HEPA filters and fans.

    ELC funding can go to either public or private K-12 schools.

  • Content: How to access it

    State-by-State Funding Directory: This directory includes a listing for your state department of health, which disburses the money from this fund.

Important Regulatory Information about SalivaDirect™

SalivaDirect™has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. This test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.