Plans for federal funds outlined in virtual town hall

Click above to see the full details of the plan.

In a virtual town hall with parents and other community members, Superintendent Millard House detailed the plans that Houston Independent School District have for upcoming funding from the federal government.

Those funds—a part of Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act—will total more than one billion dollars for HISD.

“ESSER funds are designed to help support public schools in the United States, particularly in response to the ongoing issues surrounding the pandemic,” House said. “We are looking forward to implementing these funds to further our support of our students and continue to ensure their success.”

House was joined by other leaders from the district to discuss the plans for these funds in detail, as well as answer questions from the public.

In December 2020 the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA or ESSER II) was signed into law. A few months later, in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP or ESSER III) was signed into law, which provides emergency relief funding for K-12 schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) funds.

Earlier this year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released their breakdown of the ESSER funds for districts across the state and HISD’s entitlement is $358 million for ESSER II and $804 million for ESSER III.

As a part of the virtual town hall, House talked about the months of feedback the district has taken from students, teachers, staff members, parents, and community members on how these funds should be allocated.

Earlier this month, Superintendent House presented the initial plan to the HISD Board of Trustees. After their approval, the district submitted their plan to the TEA.

More than 80% of both ESSER II and ESSER III funds will go to directly addressing learning loss of the pandemic. Included in the plan:

  • More than $127 million in funding to expanding resources for science, social studies, reading, math, and library services, including curriculum resources for classrooms and other software needs
  • More than $113 million to academic interventions and tutoring needs
  • More than $49 million to special education
  • More than $29 million to English Learners
  • More than $135 million on human capital needs, specifically recruitment and retention of teachers and educators
  • More than $42 million for Fine Arts education
  • More than $75 million for after-school programs
  • More than $53 million to college and career readiness programs
  • More than $59 million to social-emotional learning
  • More than $61 million to Wraparound Services
  • More than $13 million to Family and Community Engagement
  • $80 million to technology
  • $34 million to facilities

These funds will be distributed over the next three school years. For full details on the funding, click here.