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ESSER Funds Impact Analysis

Massachusetts districts received 2.9 billion dollars in federal aid through three major COVID-19 stimulus packages. Funding was allocated based upon district need, with districts serving the highest numbers of students from low-income families receiving the most funding. 


All districts were required to submit plans to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education describing how the funds will be used. EdImpact analyzed plans for districts receiving the highest allocations of federal funds.


The data dashboard describes how districts plan to use their funds to address students' needs and drive long-term school improvement.

To dig deeper into how this spending process works in schools read our case study, ESSER Plans in Action: A Closer Look at Four Massachusetts Districts.

Featured Districts

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Aggregate Findings

Analyses below are based on data drawn and aggregated from the 17 districts featured above. 

ESSER Funds: Breakdown
Evolution of ESSER Funds: Breakdown

ESSER I was funded at the start of the pandemic on March 27, 2020 by Congress through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Nine months later, ESSER II provided additional support through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act on December 27, 2020. One year after ESSER I, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act provided an unprecedented amount of funding through ARP ESSER (i.e., ESSER III) on March 11, 2021.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

ESSER Funds: Breakdown by Power Strategy

Time & Attention investments include smaller class sizes, intensive tutoring, academic intervention, specialized online coursework, and additional teaching staff for high-priority subjects. 

Empowering, Adaptable Instruction  investments include quality curriculum, flexible student support, assessments, and teacher professional learning (including coaching). 

Relationships & Social-Emotional Supports investments include social emotional assessments, staff training focused on relationships and student wellbeing, counseling staff, and partnerships with community mental health organizations. 

Family & Community Partnerships investments include out-of-school programming, family communication, and in-school partnerships focused on accelerating learning and student wellbeing. 

The Teaching Job investments include efforts to boost teacher compensation, recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction. 

Time & Attention

25.6% of total funding is spent on Time & Attention. Out of that amount, a third is spent on summer learning, while a negligible percentage is used to fund substitute teaching. 

Empowering, Adaptable Instruction

21.3% of total funding is spent on Empowering, Adaptable Instruction. Out of that amount, 40% is spent on summer learning, while a negligible percentage is used to fund virtual learning. 

Relationships and Social-Emotional Supports

8.7% of total funding is spent on Relationships and Social-Emotional Supports. Out of that amount, three-quarters are spent on social-emotional learning and a quarter is spent on mental health. 

Family and Community Partnerships

7.1% of total funding is spent on Family and Community Partnerships. Out of that amount, a majority is spent on out-of-school programming, while a negligible percentage is used to fund translations. 

The Teaching Job

Only 1% of total funding is spent on The Teaching Job. Out of that amount, three quarters are spent on stipended teacher leadership opportunities, while a fifth is spent on recruitment, transfer, and retention bonuses. 

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