Yesterday, July 14, 2021, the California Department of Education (CDE) updated the deadline for the Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) III Expenditure Plan from September 30, 2021, to October 29, 2021, after receiving confirmation from the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, local education agencies (LEAs) must complete a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan and the ESSER III Expenditure Plan.

The expenditure plan requires LEAs to describe how they will use ESSER III funds to, at a minimum, address students’ academic, social, emotional and mental health needs, as well as the opportunity gaps that existed before, and were exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic. LEAs must conduct meaningful consultation with stakeholders and provide public input processes in the development of its expenditure plan.

A school district must submit its ESSER III Expenditure Plan to its county office of education (COE) for review and approval, after public adoption by its governing board, on or before October 29, 2021. A COE must submit its plan to the CDE for review and approval, after public adoption by its governing board, via email at A charter school must submit its plan to its chartering authority for review, after public adoption by its governing board, and to the COE for the county in which the charter school operates for review and approval.

LEAs must submit the ESSER III Legal Assurances to receive an allocation of funding. The first apportionment deadline was June 25, 2021. LEAs that adopted a safe return to school plan, such as the COVID-19 Safety Plan required by the California Department of Public Health Guidance and Assembly Bill 86, prior to March 11, 2021, were allowed to use this existing plan to fulfill the requirement, as long as stakeholder consultation was conducted. The ESSER III Fund Application will close on December 17, 2021.

LEAs will have until September 30, 2024, to expend these funds.


CDE ARP Act Funding ESSER Website

CDE Website on ESSER III Assurances

ESSER III Safe Return to In-Person Instruction LEA Plan Template

ESSER III Expenditure Plan Template and Instructions