On March 8, in response to world events that have led to escalating fuel costs, State School Superintendent Richard Woods released a statement(see below) calling on the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to specifically clarify that school districts could use ESSER K-12 relief funds to directly cover the rising costs of transporting students.
The Georgia Department of Education reached out to USED for this clarification, and they have responded with the below:
Supporting or providing transportation services for students is an allowable use of funds under ESSER and GEER as long as the need is related to COVID-19 (e.g., to support daily attendance at school to address the impact of lost instructional time) and the cost is reasonable and necessary.
Additional detail has been provided to local superintendents.
Superintendent Woods’ statement:
“It is absolutely essential that we keep schools open and learning going for our students. That’s why I called on the U.S. Department of Education to ensure schools could use ESSER funds to keep buses rolling so in-person learning could continue. We know that in-person instruction is most effective for the vast majority of our students, and the ability to use existing ESSER funds to meet rising fuel costs will allow our school districts to continue providing learning opportunities and supporting students’ academic recovery.”
March 8, 2022 – Superintendent Woods to Biden administration: Allow school districts to cover rising fuel costs with K-12 relief funds
State School Superintendent Richard Woods has issued the following statement in response to world events that have led to escalating fuel costs, including the suspension of Russian energy imports announced today:
“As we stand committed to keeping schools open and learning going, it’s essential that school districts be given the flexibility to keep up with rising diesel costs due to unfolding world events.
I’m immediately calling on the U.S. Department of Education to specifically clarify that school districts can utilize their federal K-12 COVID relief (ESSER) funds to directly cover the rising cost of transporting our students.
Georgia school districts, particularly ones in rural areas of our state, need this relief now.”