Don’t Leave Money on the Table: Utilizing ESSER Funds for Impactful Upgrades

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds provided vital support enabling schools to address the challenges of safely operating facilities. With billions allocated through multiple rounds of funding, these dollars presented a tremendous opportunity for districts across the country. Yet recent data shows less than 50% of available ESSER funds have actually been spent so far.

The good news is, for those eligible, there’s still time to take advantage of this support. The government has allowed states to request 14-month deadline extensions for spending remaining ESSER allocations.

Strategic Investments to Consider

While ESSER funds can cover a wide range of needs, some smart targets for maximizing impact include:

  • HVAC Enhancements – Upgrading ventilation and filtration improves air quality and reduces virus transmission risks.
  • Security Upgrades – Investing in equipment like cameras and access control systems enhances safety.
  • Infrastructure Modernization – Renovating outdated buildings and equipment saves long-term operating costs.

For example, Anderson County Schools in Tennessee used ESSER funding to install ionization in common areas across the district with our assistance. By improving air quality broadly in gathering spaces, this allowed them to bring students back safely after pandemic closures while maximizing in-person time to the greatest extent possible given the project parameters.

Partner with ESG to Make the Most of ESSER

At ESG, we help school districts thoughtfully plan and implement projects tailored to provide the greatest impact with these one-time funds. Our team can:

  • Perform audits identifying the most critical facility needs in your district
  • Engineer HVAC, safety, and infrastructure solutions providing maximum benefit
  • Deliver upgrades efficiently, so you meet impending ESSER deadlines
  • Pair investments with energy conservation measures to multiply your savings

With billions in ESSER funds still unallocated, now is the time for schools to act. Let’s connect to discuss how we can help you make the most of this opportunity to enhance your learning environments long-term.

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Municipal Advisor Disclaimer Statement

ESG is as an engineering and energy services firm that designs and delivers energy-related and other infrastructure solutions. ESG is not a financial advisor or municipal advisor in the context of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as contemplated under the U.S. securities laws, and none of the information provided herein is intended as, or should be considered as, a recommendation of any particular financing structure or financial advice regarding any municipal financial product or the issuance of municipal securities under section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act, or otherwise.