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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 17, 2021
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

State Education Department Seeks Public Input in Developing New York’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Plan

Public Comment Accepted Through May 24

The State Education Department today opened a platform to seek public input in developing New York’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund plan, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced. The ARP ESSER State Plan will detail NYSED’s intentions for the use of federal ARP ESSER funds, as required by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

The nearly $9 billion in federal funding has been made available to New York State to support schools in safely reopening and sustaining safe operations while meeting the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses received by May 24, 2021 through the ThoughtExchange platform will be reflected in NYSED’s final ARP ESSER plan.

“This is a critical time for our schools as they continue to grapple with the impact of an unprecedented year of remote and hybrid learning while planning for a new normal next year,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “We will continue to gather input from educators, families, administrators and advocacy groups to carefully plan distribution of this crucial federal funding, prioritizing opening schools safely and providing educational equity for all of New York’s children.” 

“The Department has engaged in meaningful and ongoing public engagement throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Building upon that existing work, we now seek public input to ensure that the needs of our students and communities are met through this much-needed funding. Schools and districts now have additional resources to address learning loss and the impact of the pandemic on all our children – especially our low-income students, students with disabilities, English Language Learners and students who are homeless.”

The ARP ESSER Fund, authorized under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, will assist local educational agencies (LEAs), and more directly schools, in supporting students who have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to have suffered the most because of longstanding inequities in their communities and schools, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soliciting and incorporating public input into a state’s ARP ESSER plan is required by USDE and NYSED will be required to describe how meaningful consultation was engaged upon and input incorporated from the following stakeholders:

  • students;
  • families;
  • Native American Nations;
  • civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations);
  • school and district administrators (including special education administrators);
  • superintendents;
  • charter school leaders;
  • teachers;
  • principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions; and
  • stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.

Engagement Through ThoughtExchange

Stakeholders are asked to visit the ThoughtExchange platform to provide their thoughts on the following question:

As we prepare for the next school year in New York State, what are the most important academic, social emotional, and/or mental health supports for schools to provide to serve all students (i.e., general education students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and other students most impacted by the pandemic)?

Responses received by May 24, 2021 will be reflected in NYSED’s final ARP ESSER plan. Additional information on ARP ESSER, the plan and public engagement may be found on the NYSED website.

Next Steps

New York is required to submit the ARP ESSER State plan to USDE by June 7, 2021.  The USDE must approve New York’s plan prior to making the remaining one-third of New York State’s remaining ARP ESSER allocation available for expenditure.

 

 

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