American Rescue Plan Act


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides roughly $123 billion for K-12 education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III), and requires states to set aside 5 percent of those funds and districts to set aside 20 percent of those funds to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic and social and emotional needs. The act also allocates an additional 1 percent each of those funds specifically for summer learning and afterschool, or about $1.25 billion each.​​​​​

To help districts and states make decisions about spending as well as about how to implement programs, ​in March 2021 Wallace summarized the evidence on outcomes and implementa​​​​tion guidance from our work in four short briefs on afterschool coordination systems, principal leadership, social and emotional learning, and summer learning. Each includes a hyperlinked bibliography of relevant research.​

In addition, in July 2021, Wallace submitted two comment letters on U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s Proposed Priorities and Definitions: Secretary’s Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grants Programs. One let​​ter urges the Department to broadly define out-of-school time to ensure that readers know summer learning is a permitted use of funds; the other le​tter​ urges the Department to refer to “teachers, principals and other school leaders,​” so that readers know that investing in principal effectiveness is a permitted use of funds.