Overview: Pandemic Educational Funding [Infographic]

K-12 ESSER funds represent an unprecedented investment in education. Here’s your brief educational funding overview.

Infographic text:

Overview: Pandemic-related Educational Funding

*After schools voiced concerns over spending ARP fund by September 30, 2024, The U.S. Department of Education announced on May 13, 2022, that it will consider requests for 18-month extensions in light of schools struggling with labor shortages, supply constraints, and more.

American Rescue Plan

Obligated by September 2024*

  • Known as ESSER III fund
  • Passed March 2021
  • Provided $122.7 billion


Obligated by September 2022

  • Known as ESSER I fund
  • Passed March 2020
  • Provided $13.5 billion to the ESSER Fund


Obligated by September 2023

  • Known as ESSER II fund
  • Passed December 2020
  • Provided $54.3 billion

(Source: Future-Ed and NCSL)

Funding Factoids

  • Congress gave over $190 billion to school districts between 2020 and 2021 (Forbes)
  • The U.S. Department of Education approved all state ESSER implementation plans as of January 10, 2022 (NCSL)
  • K-12 ESSER funds represent a 400% increase in normal pre-pandemic funding (K-12 Dive)

District Snapshots

Here are just a few examples of new programs schools districts are implementing with COVID relief funding to empower teachers to boost learning outcomes.

  • Many states are revamping curriculum and providing teacher PD on crucial topics, including digital learning
  • New York expands learning opportunities by funding a multi-year expansion of full-day, universal Pre-K
  • New Hampshire’s Recovering Bright Futures addresses provides access to free small-group instruction (learning pods) for K-8 students
  • Kansas offsets fieldtrip costs to get kids excited to return to school for 2022


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chadaldeman/2022/01/20/focus-on-student-outcomes-not-how-federal-funds-are-spent/?sh=3df95685539c
  2. https://www.k12dive.com/news/lawmakers-urge-fiscal-accountability-of-k-12-esser-funds/610270/
  3. https://www.future-ed.org/what-congressional-covid-funding-means-for-k-12-schools/
  4. https://www.future-ed.org/with-an-influx-of-covid-relief-funds-states-spend-on-schools/
  5. https://www.ncsl.org/ncsl-in-dc/standing-committees/education/cares-act-elementary-and-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund-tracker.aspx

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