Board approves PSD ARP ESSER budget
On Aug. 24, the Poudre School District Board of Education approved PSD's proposed budget for how to spend federal pandemic response funds. The district used community feedback to develop the budget for using American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) fund dollars, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The proposed budget will be submitted to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for review. The CDE will determine which expenditures are considered allowable.
- If expenses are approved, the CDE will reimburse PSD for the funds. PSD does NOT have the funds in hand, as of August 2021.
- Approval of PSD's budget by the CDE is not contingent upon its decision regarding response to COVID-19, including decisions about masks, testing or vaccinations.
- Staff created the budget using internal and external feedback from parents, students, staff members and community partners, as shared through a survey, a direct email address for input, virtual forums and feedback sessions.
- No outside agency made decisions or was directly involved in the budget-planning process. PSD leadership used community feedback to craft the final budget that will be submitted to the CDE.
Once approved, PSD will receive about $15.5 million in ARP ESSER funds in the 2021-22 school year for the safe operation of schools and to address the impact of the pandemic on students.
Board approval of proposed ARP ESSER budget
Community input on relief money
Community members were given the opportunity to share their thoughts through a survey, by email or during public forums held July 2021. PSD received 1,426 responses to the survey that was open July 6-20.
All community input was evaluated through the lens of allowable costs, as determined by the federal government and CDE. Because the funds are one-time, salary increases or other similar, ongoing costs will not be considered.
Past COVID funding used for safety, student learning and social and emotional support
Throughout the pandemic, PSD has prioritized its use of federal dollars for health and safety, continuation of operations, learning loss, and social and emotional/mental health supports.
Examples of past spending:
- COVID supplies: Personal protective equipment, such as masks, shields, gowns, and gloves; sprayers and cleaning supplies; water bottle-filling stations; hand sanitizer; and equipment to facilitate social distancing (6-foot floor markers, plexiglass dividers, etc.
- Remote learning technology: Laptops, iPads, internet hotspots and services, headsets, webcams, keyboards, mics
- Summer learning-loss interventions: Free high school summer school courses for all students; one-on-one tutoring and summer camps for students; expansion of Camp SOL summer programming; and transportation salaries for busing staff who helped IT, Custodial and other departments with remote learning and COVID sanitation during school closures.
- Salaries: PSD Virtual, the district’s 100% online option in 2020-21; Child Nutrition staff who operated emergency feeding sites; dedicated in-building substitute teachers
- Other: Operations of Remote Learning Support Centers to provide a safe space for students to learn while PSD was in remote learning; staff COVID-19 training; contact tracing services; traffic control during drop-off/pick-up; increased graduation costs; online curriculum and learning services; increased unemployment costs
- Charter Schools: A portion of funding was allocated to PSD-authorized charter schools based on funded pupil count. Charter schools determined and addressed their own COVID- and learning loss-related needs.