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Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker of the House Dade Phelan announced on April 28 the release of $11.2 billion in new federal funds to help public schools address student learning loss and costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These one-time funds are intended to support a comprehensive learning recovery effort in Texas over the next three years. Due to federal requirements, two-thirds of the funds are available immediately under grants administered by TEA, with the final one-third to be distributed contingent upon pproval by the U.S. Department of Education. Read the full press release.

TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown made the following statement in response to the announcement:

“The announcement by Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick and Speaker Phelan to flow $11.2 billion of the ESSER funds allocated to Texas directly to K-12 schools is much appreciated and is consistent with the intent of these federal funds. It will give schools across the state the opportunity and targeted resources needed to help Texas students begin to recover from COVID-19 learning loss as soon as this summer.

“Our students and school staff have suffered many hardships this past year, and recovery will take multiple years. These resources are critical, and we will continue to work with state leaders to ensure the remaining ESSER funds also flow to school districts as supplemental funding. We recognize there are some details to work out on those funds but remain hopeful that they, too, will flow directly to schools and students to the greatest extent possible.

“District leaders have been preparing to begin the recovery in their local communities and have already formed extensive plans for putting the resources to work for our students immediately. Together, we can make sure that our education recovery from COVID-19 can fuel our Texas recovery.”

TEA Posts Letter on Release of ESSER III Formula Funds for School Districts

Immediately after the announcement was made, TEA posted additional information on the release of the ESSER funds. Read it here.