Federal Guidance on ESEA Requirements

With schools closed across Region 1, states and districts have had questions about ESEA requirements. To support the states we work with, we have pulled together key information and resources from the U.S. Department of Education on the impact of COVID-19 on ESEA requirements. We will continue to provide updates here as new guidance is released. If you have a question or are looking for support, contact us at Region 1 Comprehensive Center. If you are based outside of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont, visit the Comprehensive Center Network to find the center that supports states in your region.

Flexibility in K-12 Education Funding – The CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, is a sweeping law that offers states flexibility to adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the nation’s K12 schools. The bill includes $13.5 billion in K-12 formula grants to states, that will be distributed based on ESEA Title 1, Part A funding formulas. Ninety percent of these funds must be distributed to school districts or charter schools, with the remaining funds to be used by states to address emergency needs in the K-12 education system. In addition, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund can be used by governors to support early education and care, K-12 education, and postsecondary education providers. The CARES Act offers states and districts the following:

  • State flexibility and waiver for K-12 state assessments
  • State flexibility in the identification of comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) and targeted support and improvement (TSI) schools, as long as the state maintains the designation of schools identified in 2019-20 through the 2020-21 school years
  • Districts waivers to request a carryover of up to 15 percent of 2019-20 Title I funds into the 2020-21 school year
  • Any district with a school receiving Title 1 funding may seek a waiver that allows the school to operate as a schoolwide Title 1 school. This allows the school to use these funds for schoolwide improvements. District waivers for increasing the amount of funding for technology infrastructure.

Estimated grant numbers for Region 1 states are presented below. These estimates are pulled from the Congressional Research Service memorandum Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and do not represent final grant numbers.

Region 1 Comprehensive Center Estimated CARE Act Funding*

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund ($2,953,230,000) – Estimated State Grants

  • Maine: $9,301,000
  • Massachusetts: $51,011,000
  • New Hampshire: $8,921,000
  • Vermont: $4,504,000

Estimated Total for Region 1 Comprehensive Center States: $73,737,000

Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund ($13,229,265,000) – Estimated State Grants

  • Maine: $43,793,000
  • Massachusetts: $214,894,000
  • New Hampshire: $37,641,000
  • Vermont: $31,148,000

Estimated Total for Region 1 Comprehensive Center States: $327,476,000

Total Governor’s + Elementary and Secondary Schools Funds (Percentage of Total Funding Available)

  • Maine: $53,094,000 (0.33%)
  • Massachusetts: $265,905,000 (1.64%)
  • New Hampshire: $46,562,000 (0.29%)
  • Vermont: $35,652,000 (0.22%)

Estimated Total for Region 1 Comprehensive Center States: $401,213,000 (2.48%)

*Does not include the higher education funding allotments in the CARES Act. Source: Congressional Research Service Memorandum, March 27, 2020