Using ESSER III for Arts Education

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, significant resources were allocated to school districts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arts for All Coalition has put together a number of recourses to support arts education advocates in accessing this funding:

Download our ESSER III Arts for All Resource


The Education funding allocation ($125 billion) of the American Rescue Plan Act is the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III or ARP ESSER). ESSER III's purpose is to help schools and districts safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and must respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Over the next three years as follows:

  • FY22: Upon approval 6/30/2022 (Year 1).
  • FY22 ESSER III grant awards will be extended into FY23 - 7/1/2022 6/30/2023 (Year 2)
  • FY24 7/1/2023 6/30/2024 (Year 3)
  • FY25 7/1/2024 9/30/2024 (Year 4).


Funds will be disbursed through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary


Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) - allocations by community: allocation.aspx?view=code&fy=2022&code=119


Through Title I channels, however the allocations are independent of Title I policies.


How can the ESSER III funds be used in arts education?

The funds can be used for “activities that are necessary to maintain operation of and continuity of services, including continuing to employ existing or hiring new Local Educational Agencies and school staff, including arts educators.

  • For ESSER III funds, Local Educational Agencies must use at least 20% of funds to address learning loss

    through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. o Arts Education & Social Emotional Learning Framework:
    o The Arts Advantage:

  • Supporting training for arts educators on strategies to conduct in-person arts instruction safely.

  • Adding and replenishing consumable materials and supplies, purchasing capital arts equipment

  • Purchasing supplies to sanitize tools and equipment.

  • Purchasing devices for internet connectivity, laptops, and/or supplemental software that would allow for instruction and assessment through virtual means.

  • Paying for additional instruction, such as through an adjunct teacher, private lessons instructor, or full-time teacher, to provide remediation in the arts.

  • After-school and summer learning programs to accelerate arts learning and support socialemotional learning.

  • Purchasing materials to set up the arts classroom/studio with physical distance between students

Arts for All recommends the PASS strategy for accessing ESSER III funding for school arts education programs:

Plan an arts project on your own or with colleagues

Ask your administrators and colleagues for feedback

Show how funding will be used to support the arts in your school community

Succeed in adding to, rebuilding, or restoring your arts program

Be sure to share your successes with the Arts for All coalition at [email protected] and on social media with hashtags #ArtsPASS & #ArtsMA


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published this page in Blog | 2021-12-09 14:15:02 -0500

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