CLEVELAND – May 14, 2021 – The federal government has approved billions of dollars of relief funds for schools, but some educators are unclear where the funds originate and how they should be used. Today, OverDrive Education announced a new effort to guide school districts through the process of understanding and using Education Stabilization Funds (ESF). Interested schools can access the full collection of resources in the K-12 Funding Champion Toolkit.
Since March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education has allocated nearly $193 billion in K-12 COVID-19 relief funding to states. The government funds, also known by legislative acronyms CARES, CRRSA, ARP and ESSER, can be used in a variety of ways ranging from improving ventilation, expanding after-school programs and purchasing digital resources like ebooks and audiobooks.
“This is a generation-defining event for American primary and secondary education,” said Angela Arnold, OverDrive Education General Manager. “Because there is so much to navigate, teachers have many questions about what the funds are and how they can be used. We want to ensure our school partners have the resources they need to answer basic questions and also support districts that want to use the Sora K-12 student reading app to address specific funding requirements.”
The Sora app, an allowable use for relief funds, is enabling many districts’ literacy and reading programs. The legislation defines allowable uses for ESF, including “activities that address unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youths.”
The kit currently includes: