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In-depth: The financial cost of COVID-19 for Arizona school districts and charters

AP Poll Virus Outbreak Schools
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 13:11:32-04

PHOENIX — The state of education is still in flux as school funding remains a top concern coming out of the pandemic.

That's why ABC15's Danielle Lerner is digging into how districts and charters are using federal relief dollars to help offset the financial costs of COVID-19.

The "Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund," or ESSER, is money from the federal government, given to states to help reimburse school districts and charters for eligible expenses related to the coronavirus.

So far there have been two rounds of allocations, one in fiscal year 2020 and the other for fiscal year 2021.

In Maricopa County, the following districts have received the highest allocations so far:

  • Mesa Public Schools received roughly $87 million
  • Cartwright School District received roughly $41 million
  • Washington Elementary School District received roughly $37 million
  • Glendale Union High School District and Phoenix Elementary District received roughly $20 million
  • Some of the most common costs listed on applications for this funding include salaries and benefits, overtime or added positions, PPE and technology for students and staff.
  • We also saw investments in summer programming and teacher retention.

This is public information, watch the video tutorial below for a step-by-step look at how to find and navigate the online database.

How to access Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund