In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed two significant stimulus bills that include funding for education. In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted, and in December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act provided an additional $900 billion in funding for education. Colorado received a historic infusion of $1.8 billion in federal pandemic recovery funds to support students, families and educators.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, known as ESSER, was allocated in three installments – March 2020, December 2020 and March 2021 and was designed to help schools and communities respond to the pandemic and recover from lost learning opportunities. Each state that receives ESSER funding must publicly post and regularly update data on how students are learning and the districts plan to continue prioritizing in-person learning alongside the challenges that were brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.