The pandemic upended education for about 50 million American students, and U.S. lawmakers responded by giving schools an unprecedented surge of federal funding — including nearly $3 billion for Indiana schools.
The aid has few restrictions, so districts can decide what they need to operate during the enduring crisis and what will help make up for the instruction students have missed out on. School systems with larger shares of children from low-income families received more money.
Although public information on how districts use the aid is inconsistent and often hard to find, schools were required to post plans on their public websites of how district leaders will use the latest round of funding. District leaders decide what to include in the plans, however, and some are far more detailed than others.
The three rounds of stimulus, which were progressively larger, include the CARES Act, a second stimulus bill under President Trump, and the American Rescue Plan under President Biden. All of the aid is known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief or ESSER, a name commonly used on school district websites and school board presentations. The aid must be spent by late 2024.
Below is a database of how much each district received from the three rounds of funding (including some aid shared with private schools) and the link to the local spending plan the districts provided to the Indiana Department of Education. In some cases, broken, missing or outdated links were updated by WFYI. Some districts did not provide working links.