Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund


Funding to Support Today’s Educational Challenges

To support schools and districts in addressing the impact of COVID-19, Congress has provided financial support through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Funds are allocated to each state in the same proportion as their Title I, Part A grants. In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included $13 billion in ESSER funds. In December 2020, an additional $54 billion for ESSER II was allocated through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) authorized another $122 billion for ESSER III (also called “ARP ESSER”) in March 2021

How Districts Can Use ESSER Funds

Districts have the flexibility to use the ESSER funds on any "activity authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” Additionally, ESSER II and III legislation specifies that funds can be used to address learning loss. Your ESSER funds can be used for:

  • Assessments
  • Identifying and addressing unfinished learning
  • Instructional materials
  • After school/extended day 
  • Summer learning
  • Professional development
  • Mental health services
  • Software, hardware, connectivity
  • Teacher pay

The ARP requires states to submit a plan for their ESSER funding to the U.S. Department of Education. Find the submitted plans here.

The Department of Education requires annual performance reports for ESSER grantees (also EANS and GEER); details can be found here.

Programs Aligned with ESSER Funding

i-Ready Assessment screen.

i-Ready Assessment

The rich data from i-Ready Assessment empowers teachers with a deeper knowledge of their students’ needs and unfinished learning. It pinpoints students’ strengths and knowledge gaps at the sub-skill level. i-Ready’s growth measures provide a detailed portrait of student growth and chart a path to grade-level proficiency for every student.

i-Ready Personalized Instruction screens.

i-Ready Personalized Instruction

i-Ready Personalized Instruction delivers powerful online lessons that motivate students on their paths to proficiency and growth. Driven by insights from the i-Ready Diagnostic, i-Ready’s online K–8 lessons in Reading and Mathematics provide tailored instruction that meets students where they are in their journey and encourages them as they develop new skills.

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics book and digital experience.

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics

Our comprehensive core mathematics program, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics, makes mathematics accessible to all students and is highly rated by EdReports. Through a blend of purposeful print and digital components, the program increases student engagement and builds confidence.

Magnetic Reading Instruction Book.

Magnetic Reading

Our Magnetic Reading programs for Grades K–5 connect the art of teaching with the Science of Reading. The intuitive, systematic approach to instruction and rich, engaging texts draw students to the center of learning each and every day. Magnetic Reading programs ensure every student gets the right support for succeeding as a grade-level reader.

Ready Math, Reading, and Writing books.

Ready Mathematics, Ready Reading, and Ready Writing

Students have the opportunity to shine when they are challenged by rigorous yet reachable instruction in the classroom. Ready was designed to give K–8 students of all levels that opportunity with accessible, engaging instruction. With our research-based program, educators receive the guidance and tools they need to help meet the needs of all learners, while strengthening their instructional practice.

Laptop showing the Teacher Toolbox.

Teacher Toolbox

With this digital collection of standards-based resources for Grades K–8, teachers get the tools they need to introduce new concepts, reteach standards, or help students learn prerequisite skills from earlier grades—and meet the needs of all learners. Teacher Toolbox is a wonderful complement to i-Ready or Ready, or it is available for use as a standalone classroom tool.

Phonics for Reading books.

PHONICS for Reading

Authored by reading expert Dr. Anita Archer, this systematic, research-based intervention program accelerates instruction for struggling readers in Grades 3–12 by equipping them with the tools necessary to decode with confidence. PHONICS for Reading also ties seamlessly into i-Ready Assessment data, enabling educators to identify the population of students in need and the level of support each student requires.

Brigance products.


BRIGANCE provides industry-leading tools, including developmental screeners, assessment tools and inventories, and instructional materials for Special Education, Early Childhood, and Head Start professionals.

Close up of teacher standing in front of whiteboard.

Professional Development

Our professional development courses infuse proven instructional practices to drive student growth, supporting educators as they accelerate learning for all students. We offer onsite and digital learning options and a powerful network of support for our educator partners.


Students and a teacher in the classroom.

Identify, Address, and Measure Unfinished Learning

Learn how ESSER funds can help address the challenges of pandemic-related unfinished learning. 


Teacher and student in a classroom.

Grants and Funding Center

Explore funding options and how you can use them in your school or district.


Student on a computer.

“Learning Loss” versus “Unfinished Learning” 

Is there a difference? Learn why we prefer to use the latter in most of our content.

Contact Us for Grant Support

Applying for funding to implement a Curriculum Associates program? The Grants team is here to assist you with:

  • Product Narrative: We can supply sample language describing our product and services for your application.
  • Customized Grant Toolkit: For selected funding opportunities, we can provide sample product narrative customized to the specific grant.
  • Grant Review: For select proposals, we can review your narrative with our product information and offer feedback on how the content aligns with the grant requirements/priorities.