COVID Relief Funding FAQ
What is the history of COVID relief funding?
Starting in March of 2020, congress authorized COVID-19 relief funds, which helped to provide money for state, local, and tribal governments who are navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of these funds went into aspects such as unemployment help, funding for schools at both the state education level and the local education level, among many other important things.
What is the CARES act?
The CARES act, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. The CARES funding can be used for any necessary expenditures that arise from the COVID-19 public health crisis. Amounts paid to government entities had to do with the population size of the specific state.
Here is a link to the Coronavirus relief fund FAQ page: Coronavirus Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions.
What is the CRRSA act?
The CRRSA act, which stands for Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations, borrows much from the previous CARES act. This bill holds approximately $900 billion in total and was passed in late December of 2020. The money from this bill can be used in the same ways as the previous CARES act, with a section on upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
Please see the following link for a few more details regarding the CRRSA act: CRRSA Act.
For more information on the differences between the CARES act and the CRRSA act, click here: Differences in ESSER I and II from CARES and CRRSA acts.
What is ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief)?
ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund. Departments award these funds to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) who apply for these funds, who then award at least 90% of the funds they receive to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). ESSER funds come from the CARES act and ESSER II funds come from the CRRSA act. The CARES act provided $13.2 billion to the ESSER fund. The CRRSA act provided $54.3 billion to the ESSER II fund. ESSER and ESSER II funds are used for LEAs to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies and sanitizing materials, among other things to maintain school operations throughout the duration of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Please see the following link to see a state-by-state breakdown of ESSER funds as well as an FAQ page regarding these funds per state:
CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund Tracker
Here is another link to the California Department of Education with ESSER funds FAQs: ESSER Fund Frequently Asked Questions - CARES Act Funding (CA Dept of Education)
If you are from an LEA (Local Education Agency) and want more guidance on how to apply for ESSER funds, please see this video posted by the Arizona Department of Education for an example of the application process for Title I-A schools: FY20 Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund Grant Application Guidance for FY20 Title I-A LEAs or see the first link above for an application page in your specific state.
What is the Title I-A program?
The US Department of Education states that “Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards”.
Most LEAs applying for funds from the coronavirus relief packages are classified under the Title I-A schools.
If you would like more information regarding this, please see the US Department of Education page: Title I, Part A Program
How can I tell if funds are remaining in my state?
The following link provides an interactive map of the states, where if you click on a specific state, the total amount of funding from the COVID-19 relief packages along with the amount that has been spent and the amount remaining can all be seen: Education Stabilization Fund
You can also view this link on COVID-19 funding and grant FAQs: General Funding and Grants Frequently Asked Questions | COVID-19 | Grants
How to Use
Can I use CARES and CRRSA funds to purchase Zeptive products?
Yes. Both the CARES and CRRSA acts provide grant opportunities for aspects that reduce the spread of COVID-19 or combat against the pandemic. In this way, both the zeptive vape detector and the zeptive air quality monitor fall under the category of products that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Why do air quality monitors fall under CARES and CRRSA?
Air Quality monitoring significantly reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Please see our original article written about the affect of ventilation on the spread of COVID-19: How Ventilation Affects the Spread of COVID-19 Indoors
Why do vape detectors fall under CARES and CRRSA?
Vape Detectors have significant benefits in reducing COVID and improving air quality. Specifically these benefits include (1) reducing occupancy in restrooms and clusterings of groups with no social distancing, and (2) reducing vaping generally, which is associated with lower COVID disease incidence.
Are there any guidelines to help me use CARES and CRRSA?
Our team has specific guidelines to help. For more information please contact us: Zeptive Contact Page.
If you are an LEA looking into applying to ESSER funds from the COVID-19 stimulus packages, you might also find the following documents helpful:
ESSERF Guidance on Public Allowable Costs