Using ESSER I to Build a Broader Positive Narrative

The September 30, 2022, deadline for school districts to obligate ESSER I funds is an opportunity to celebrate progress and demonstrate transparency and accountability.


Connect ESSER I accomplishments to ESSER II and ARP ESSER III plans. Consider reminding audiences that ESSER I funds were intended to be used to address the immediate crisis – and that is exactly what districts did. Back in 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic, in a matter of weeks, school systems were faced with unprecedented disruptions and the seemingly impossible challenge of providing quality, equitable education opportunities for all students – whether they engaged virtually, in-person, or through hybrid learning settings. ESSER II and ARP ESSER III funds may remain unobligated and districts have the opportunity to engage their communities in the ongoing use of these resources over the next approximately two years.
Remind audiences that ESSER funds are one-time resources. Communicating about the use of ESSER funds may lead community members and media to ask why the resources are not being used to advance other long-term district goals. Communication strategies can incorporate reminders that ESSER represents one-time resources and that your district is being a responsible steward by thinking about sustainability from the beginning.

Use the following press release template to celebrate progress and demonstrate transparency and accountability to your community.