Advocacy & Policy

Approved State ESSER Plans Including the Arts

November 2021

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, authorized by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), provides funding to schools to support sustained safe building reopenings and operations while meeting the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds were signed into law in 2020, and the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants ¬to State Educational Agencies (SEAs). ESSER Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as funds received under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The Education Commission of the States and the Arts Education Partnership commissioned a study to understand the impact on arts education of ESSER Funds and asked the question:

How many states explicitly named the arts in their approved state ESSER plans, and what arts-related activities did those states propose?

This document provides an overview of where the arts are clearly identified as priorities and the impacts that the funds have had on programming, staffing, and professional development.

For more information on ESSER Funds, visit the Office of Elementary & Secondary Education website or learn what funding your state has received here.

Explore More