An ESSER Update

On March 24, 2021, the Montana OPI received from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Funds, authorized under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. The ARP-ESSER provides $382,019,236 (ESSER III) for Montana schools to safely reopen and sustain safe operations of schools while meeting the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the third round of ESSER funding that Montana has received and is available through September 2024.  

ARP-ESSER Key Dates & OPI Technical Assistance Opportunity Timeline 


March 18, 2022 – District Federally Mandated Data Collection Complete and Submitted to OPI 

Disclaimer: This information is subject to change as final guidance and information is released by the USED. 

• Updated May 13, 2022 •


COVID Related Funding Received By Montana Schools  

COVID-Related Funding Received for Public and Non-Public Schools Graphic: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) I = $41,295,230; ESSER II = $170,099,465; ESSER III = $382,019,236; Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) = $24,679,709; Total Funds = $605,318,735  

COVID Related Funding Spent 

• June 15, 2022 •

COVID-Related Funding Spent Graphic: ESSER I (Total= $41,295,230; $34,025,059 Spent; 82% Spent); ESSER II (Total= $170,099,465; $62,282,375  Spent; 37% Spent); ESSER III (Total= $382,019,236; $35,172,703 Spent; 9% Spent); EANS (Total=$11,904,804; $1,143,305  Spent, 10% Spent)


Weekly ESSER Bulletin

On Wednesday, November 24, OPI sent an announcement to all Authorized Representatives, Clerks, County Superintendents, Superintendents, and Principals – Local Board Chairs will be added in future publications.  This new bulletin is designed to put timely ESSER related information in front of school leaders to keep them up to date ESSER hot topics and compliance deadlines.  We will continue to provide forward looking ESSER updates in the COMPASS but will leverage the Weekly Bulletin to provide timely updates and support.  All weekly bulletins that are sent directly to school leader email addresses will also be housed HERE for your convenience.  We are always looking for better ways to serve you! 

Contact Info

Wendi Fawns, ESSER/EANS Director, 406-437-8595


ARP-ESSER State Plan

On August 5th, the U.S. Department of Education approved the ARP ESSER State Plan for Montana that the OPI had submitted on June 7th.  This action allows the OPI to begin transferring the remaining one-third of the ESSER III Fund balance to school districts.  It also gives the OPI an approved roadmap for helping our great Montana schools use this large influx of Federal funding to innovate and improve instruction for our Montana students.  Our plan recognizes local control, removes obstacles and barriers for schools, and enhances accountability without being overly burdensome.

Plan Attachments

School District Plans


FAQ and Guidances



ESSER District Resources

District Plan Resources

Content Area One-Pagers

Data Collection Resources

Allocation & Status Update

Procedural Guidances, Manuals, and Tip Sheets

LEA ESSER & Continuity of Service Plans



Other Resources