Fairfax County School Board Directs Superintendent to Submit ESSER III Plan
At its July 15 Board meeting, the Fairfax County School Board authorized Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand to develop and submit a formal plan to the state to access an allocation of $188.6 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding.
Superintendent Brabrand presented an initial spending plan proposal to the Board at its July 13 work session. The plan was based on extensive public engagement around the potential allocation of ESSER III funding, resulting in participation from more 1,600 community members, in addition to FCPS’ Leadership Team and School Board. Based on that feedback, the superintendent’s recommendation includes four categories:
- Unfinished Learning
- Student Academic, Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs
- Prevention and Mitigation Strategies
- Other Use of Funds including technology, multilingual engagement and equity needs
“This is an opportunity for us to ensure a strong return to five days of in-person learning for all our students this coming school year. This funding will help us bridge some of the social emotional and academic gaps that COVID created, and allow us to increase support for special education students, as well as strengthening our after-school learning programs. We look forward to further discussions with the School Board to ensure we are putting funds to the best possible uses,” said Superintendent Brabrand.
ESSER III Grant Funds are intended to support a safe reopening and operation of schools,, and to address the impact of COVID on students by focusing on their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Funds are to be spent during fiscal years 2022-24.
The superintendent will present an advance copy of the official spending plan to the School Board prior to the August 26 regular meeting, and then submit to the state by the September 1 deadline. At a future September 2021 work session, the superintendent will present more detailed information on the ESSER III plan, including its targeted goals, operational timelines, and accountability metrics. The superintendent will work with the Board to ensure ESSER III funds are used to improve student academic outcomes and social-emotional learning.