• ESSER graphic

  • The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was passed March 10, 2021 and authorized by President Joseph Biden. The act provides just over $170.3 billion to education, making this the federal government’s largest ever single investment in schools. Of the $170.3 billion allocation, $122.8 billion was designated as ESSER III funds.

    Consistent with all ESSER grants, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are first allocated to the GADOE and then sub-granted to the Dougherty County School System. The State of Georgia received $4.3 billion of funding. The sub-grant to the Dougherty County School System totaled $65.3 million, with 2/3 of the grant ($43.5 million) available for allocation requests as of June 2021.

    The Dougherty County School System designed a multi-pronged strategy to identify needs and uses for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds as follows:

    Phase 1 – FY22 Budget Priority Synchronization: The announcement of the ARPA funds occurred during the FY22 Budget Development Cycle. In consideration of the community-inspired strategic action plan and additional forums capturing school leader, parent, and board member inputs, the Dougherty County School System prioritized $37.4 million of funding to support learning recovery and learning acceleration resources, and improvements to school ventilation systems. In March 2021, an overview of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) planning strategy and early identification of needs was presented to the Board.

    Phase 2 – Comprehensive Plan Development: The district leadership organized and led a cross-divisional team to identify innovative programs and opportunities to support student learning and wellness. The Dougherty County Board of Education received a public report of the comprehensive budgetary plan for the first allocation ($42.4 million) of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds during the September meeting and endorsed the budgetary plan submitted to GADOE for approval. The plan was approved by GADOE on August 25, 2021 and included investments:

    • to support student wellness and mental health;
    • to address interrupted learning and support learning acceleration needs;
    • to facilitate the students’ return to campus transition or provide a remote learning option via CONNECT Academy; and
    • to enhance the learning environment through training, incentives, and facility upgrades.

    As of December 31, 2022, Dougherty County Schools has expended $32 million of the first allocation of ESSER III as follows:

  • Period Amount Use of Funds Summary
         
    FY21: 7/1/20 – 6/30/21 $ 3,078,344 Expenditures include: (1) facility enhancement costs, (2) personnel for learning acceleration and student support, (3) facility costs for air quality projects, and (4) staff vaccination incentives.
    FY22: 7/1/21-6/30/22 $ 19,156,872 Expenditures include: (1) facility enhancement costs, (2) personnel for learning acceleration and student support, (3) facility costs for air quality projects, and (4) staff retention incentives.
    FY23: 7/1/22-12/31/22 $10,400,317 Expenditures include: (1) facility enhancement costs, (2) personnel for learning acceleration and student support, (3) facility costs for air quality projects, and (4) staff retention incentives.  
    Total Expended $ 32,635,34  
    Funds Remaining $ 32,726,982  
  • The remaining funds are available to cover the outlined objectives through September 30, 2023.

  • As of September 30, 2022, Dougherty County Schools has expended the following:

    GADOE Reserve Grant Title Amount Allocated Expended 12/31/22 Remaining
    ESSER III - ARP Homeless Children & Youth II $ 217,219 $ 4,264 $ 212,955
    IDEA ARP 611 $ 721,596 $ 394,057 $ 327,539
    ESSER III - ARP GNETS $ 102,322 $ 66,269 $ 36,053
    IDEA ARP 619 $ 46,577 $ 15,092 $ 31,485

     

    We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and update our plan based on the needs of our students and stakeholder feedback.  If you would like to provide feedback on our system's plan, please click the feedback survey link provided (Survey Link: American Rescue Plan - ARP Feedback Form).