wall of books with money sticking out of each book

Nearly $200 billion in federal, pandemic relief through ESSER (public schools) and EANS (independent schools) can completely offset the purchase of learning loss measurement and mitigation software like Piqosity.

Learning loss is such a serious concern that federal law even stipulates that a minimum of 20% of available funds must be used by schools to help students catch up.

However, educators must hurry—the last of the funding expires in September of 2024.

What You Need to Know About EANS and ESSER Funding

The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund the ESSER program (which stands for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund), while the ARP and CRRSA Act fund EANS (Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools). The federal government assigns responsibility for managing these programs to each state’s educational agency (SEA), which means that the specific (generally non-onerous) processes for obtaining these funds will vary slightly by state.

About ESSER Funds for Public Schools

SEAs will award ESSER funding to local educational agencies (LEAs) who apply, which includes public school districts and charter schools, in order to address pandemic-caused learning loss. LEAs will then assign the funds to specific purposes. They can distribute funds to schools in any way they choose, so districts may choose to prioritize low-income schools or schools with worse test scores, for instance. Read the FAQ distributed by the ED for more clarity on ESSER legislation.

To date there have been three iterations of ESSER funding signed into law totaling more than $190 billion. Each package is available for a specific amount of time, and ESSER II and III are the only ones still available: 

  • ESSER I: $13.5 billion approved in March 2020, expired on September 30, 2022.
  • ESSER II: $54.3 billion approved in December 2020, expires on September 30, 2023.
  • ESSER III/ARP ESSER: $123 billion approved in March 2021, expires on September 30, 2024. 

Schools must commit the funds to specific purposes by their expiration deadline but have an additional 120 days to spend the funds.

About EANS Funds for Independent Schools

The EANS programs are the independent school version of ESSER. Through EANS, the federal Department of Education awards grants to each state to provide assistance to eligible non-public schools (private, independent, and parochial) in order to address the negative impacts of COVID-19 on students and teachers. Each state’s Governor is responsible for sending Intent to Participate forms to the eligible non-public schools, and each SEA will determine the amount of EANS funding allocated to each school.

To date, there have been two rounds of EANS funding signed into law that total $5.5 billion:

  • CRRSA EANS: $2.75 billion approved in December 2020, expires on September 30, 2023.
  • ARP EANS: $2.75 billion approved in March 2021, expires on September 30, 2024.

The two funding packages are nearly identical (because ARP EANS is an extension of CRRSA EANS), except for two requirements of ARP EANS:

  • SEAs may only provide assistance with ARP EANS “..to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of students from low-income families and are most impacted by COVID-19.”
  • SEAs may not use ARP EANS for reimbursements; only for new purchases.

Using ESSER or EANS to Address Learning Loss

ESSER and EANS Funding are granted in order to help schools with expenses related to:

  • Safely reopening/operating schools 
  • Continuing educational instruction
  • Addressing learning loss

Since most people now consider COVID-19 to be endemic, and President Biden himself has declared that the pandemic is “over”, most schools are now turning their attention away from hardware purchases like physical distancing barriers to software purchases like Piqosity’s learning loss recovery software.

In fact, at least 20% of ESSER funding must be used by districts in ways that address learning loss and improve students’ declined academic skills resulting from the pandemic. This can include anything from classroom technology to specific curriculum materials, so let’s explore some of the most effective options available for improving learning outcomes. Popular use of remaining funds include:

  • Educational materials like digital textbooks and workbooks
  • Teacher training like how to use new software and remediate learning loss
  • Educational technology to address learning loss especially in math, reading

How to Take the Steps to Use the Money

Securing funds from ESSER and EANS is generally straightforward and relatively fast. While the specific steps required will vary by state and school/district, they usually include:

  1. Confirming the availability of funds from your school’s budget director like the principal or financial officer
  2. Getting a quote from your vendor and forwarding it to the budget director
  3. Forwarding the quote to the state education agency for approval, which may happen in just a few weeks

Remember that there are upcoming deadlines to use (or lose) this nearly $200 billion in federal money. While the next deadline is in September 2023, state agencies may require schools to submit their proposals many moths earlier like in June or July of 2023.

Why Piqosity is Your Partner in Learning Loss Mitigation

Piqosity provides two market-leading, turnkey solution to help educators combat learning loss:

  • College Prep Advanced for students in grades 9-12
  • High School Prep Advanced for students in grades 5-8

College Prep Advanced is cutting-edge personalized learning software that helps ensure students are college and career ready and includes support for math and English plus test preparation for the ACT and SAT college admissions tests.

High School Prep Advanced helps ensure middle school students are prepared for high school and includes support for math and English plus test preparation for the ISEE independent school admissions test.

Some of Piqosity’s unique features that enhance student learning are:

Premium Learning Content including Rice OpenStax

  • Hundreds of reading passages paired with thousands of assessment questions in English
  • Thousands of skill-level specific questions in Math
  • 12 full-length, level-specific practice tests for the ACT, SAT, and ISEE standardized test
  • Hundreds of instructional lessons including hours of video instruction
  • Integrated content from leading OER publisher Rice OpenStax

Peer-Normed Analytics

On Piqosity a hard question is statistically one where only the most advanced learners are answering it correctly. If you’re trying to help your students improve their skills and overcome learning gaps from the pandemic, it helps to know how they compare to their peers—not just in their school or district, but all across the country. With our dynamic difficulty levels and insightful review pages, students and teachers on PQ know exactly how they’re progressing compared to the norm group of thousands of other Piqosity users. 

Virtual Tutor with Adaptive Practice

Not knowing where to start is no issue for Patrick the Piqosity Virtual Tutor (PVT). Students simply tell PVT what their goals are and when their test or last day of school is, and it’ll guide them step-by-step through lessons and practice. PVT even adapts the course curriculum to each student’s individual goals and needs including content difficulty and mastery expectations. Integrated adaptive practice ensures that each student is working on the content most appropriate to their needs at any given time.

Intelligent Remediation

Coming this fall, our Intelligent Remediation feature automatically identifies a student’s weaknesses in prerequisite math and English topics. For example, an 11th grade student preparing for the ACT college admissions test might be doing poorly on ACT practice questions. Piqosity is able to automatically recognize that this weakness is a result, for example, of their inability to find the slope of a line, which they should have mastered in Algebra I. However upon further practice, Piqosity realizes that this inability actually began with the student’s fuzzy understanding of sixth grade fractions! 

Piqosity Success Coaching & Satisfaction Guarantee

It’s easy to buy some fancy software and tell educators and students to use it and excel. However, it’s an entirely another challenge to ensure that the software is being utilized to its full potential. Piqosity Success Coaching pairs a named educator with a Piqosity coach to ensure that the teacher knows not only how to use the software but also how to implement it in their classroom on a day-to-day basis.

We want to be long term partners with the schools and districts we work with. As such we guarantee that schools will find our software useful. We’ll do whatever it takes to help improve student outcomes including providing teacher coaching and even extending licenses beyond their original terms.