As school districts begin to plan for 2022 summer learning programs, here are a number of federal programs that can fund your initiative locally:
21st Century Community Learning Centers
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program was established in 2012 to provide before- or afterschool programs for K–12 children attending low-performing schools.
- Distribution: Each State Education Agency administers this program. School districts, private providers, and for-profit companies can apply for competitive grants that typically have an award length of 3 to 5 years. Grantees must serve public-school students in high-poverty schools.
- How the funds can be used: 21st Century programs can provide a wide variety of enrichment activities including academic remediation, tutoring, music, art, technology, health, counseling, and recreation.
Almost 60% of public schools receive some Title I money, providing services to about 25 million students.
- Distribution: Title I funds are distributed to school districts based primarily on census poverty estimates.
- How the funds can be used: Summer Learning falls under Title I’s mission to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects.
Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed several stimulus bills that provide economic assistance for American businesses and industries, including education. Within each of the three stimulus bills, the main program for K-12 education is Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER).
- Distribution: ESSER funds have been distributed to public school districts based on Title I.
- How the funds can be used: Summer Learning programs is an allowable use of funds under all three rounds of ESSER, and it is one of the top strategies to help students accelerate learning. A recent analysis of district ESSER plans by FutureED showed more than half the school districts and charter schools reviewed plan to spend Covid-relief money on summer programs.
Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief – State set-asides
States were required to set-aside a portion of ARP ESSER funds: 5% for activities to address lost instructional time, including summer learning or summer enrichment and 1% specifically for evidence-based summer learning and enrichment programs.
- Distribution: Varies by State. Some states are distributing these set-aside funds directly to districts (PA, NY, IL). Some are awarding extra funds to previous 21st Century Community Learning Center awardees (CA, KY). Other States are holding special grant applications to award funds (NJ, GA, LA). Others are funding state initiatives such as high-impact tutoring or summer learning camps (AL, TN).
- How the funds can be used: Each States’ plan for ESSER set-asides for summer learning is different, but some repeating themes are high-dosage tutoring, evidence-based interventions, academic enrichment activities, hands-on learning activities, social-emotional interventions, and community-based partnerships.