OKLAHOMA CITY – Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced last week that a new online portal is available for Oklahomans to track how school districts are using federal COVID relief funds.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and public school districts in the state have spent down approximately 58 percent of the $2.3 billion the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has allocated to Oklahoma to support students in the wake of the pandemic. According to USDE, Oklahoma’s percentage spent is higher than all but three other states: Arkansas, Hawaii and Iowa.
“We’re very proud of our highly successful distribution of federal relief funds in Oklahoma,” Hofmeister said. “The timely and appropriate expenditure of these dollars is critical to help Oklahoma families and educators. Otherwise, the funds would have to be returned without benefit to Oklahomans. This portal makes it convenient for people to review where those dollars have gone and are going.”
There have been three federal tranches: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, also knowns as ESSER I; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, ESSER II; and the American Rescue Plan (ARP), ESSER III.
Thus far, 99.96 percent of ESSER I funds have been spent ($144.80 million); as well as 93.64 percent of ESSER II funds ($560.50 million) and 37.58 percent ($505.50 million) of the nearly $1.5 billion allocated in ESSER III.
Upcoming deadlines for spending the remaining funding are currently Sept. 30, 2023 for ESSER II and Sept. 30, 2024 for ESSER III.