The Houston Independent School District has become one of the first large urban school districts to release an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund dashboard to the public.
The dashboard allows the public to see how and where the district is spending the $1.16 billion in ESSER funds it received from the federal government. The interactive dashboard displays ESSER allocations and encumbrances allocated for 2021-2022, which are broken down by centrally funded programs, campus programs, and campus staff.
“A core commitment of our strategic plan is building trust and reliability for our families and community,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “We believe that being fully transparent with how the district is spending its ESSER funds – which are public dollars – is a big step toward that goal.”
In total, the district has received $1.16 billion in ESSER II and III funds, which must be used by September 30, 2024. To date, the district has allocated $607 million and spent or encumbered $319 million. The money is being used to address the near and long-term impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on HISD and its students.
ESSER II funds were made available by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. ESSER III funds were made available by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. ESSER funds are provided to help districts address the impact COVID-19 has had on schools, as well as allow them to safely reopen and sustain the same operation of schools.
To view the ESSER transparency dashboard, visit the district’s External Funding website.