ESSER Funding Guide

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Federal Funds for Schools

Learn how to find and use Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) funding to purchase Second Step® social-emotional learning (SEL) programs.

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What is ESSER funding?

The ESSER fund is a federal program administered by the Department of Education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides time-limited emergency financial assistance to US school districts.

School districts may apply for ESSER funding through their state educational agency (SEA). More information about the specifics of this funding is available on the US Department of Education website.

Can ESSER funds be used for Second Step® programs?

Yes! ESSER funds are meant to be used to support students’ academic, social, and emotional needs in response to learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding covers research- and evidence-based programs that support the implementation of MTSS and Tier 1 social-emotional learning, which includes the Second Step family of SEL programs. You can use the funds for multiyear program subscriptions that can extend up to four years after the funds are obligated. Check with your state or district for local rules.

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Is ESSER funding still available?

Yes. ESSER III funding must be obligated by September 30, 2024, and liquidated within 120 days of that date. See the US Department of Education’s FAQ for more information on deadlines.

How can I get started?

We can help! We know you want your students and school communities to have what they need to thrive. We also know it’s hard to provide the support needed without funding options. Our knowledgeable and experienced Education Partnerships Team is here to provide resources and support to help you invest in SEL programming, no matter what type of funding you’re seeking.

Reach out to us by using our district consultation form to get connected right away.

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More Funding Resources

You can also visit our Funding for Second Step® Programs page for more ideas and to access resources, including our Grant Application Checklist.

District Consult: learn more.

District Consult

Learn which Second Step programs best meet your district’s needs.

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Purchasing options. Learn More.

Purchasing Options

Find out more about ways to purchase for your school or district.

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