Hofmeister leads Oklahoma to top three in nation for schools’ use of COVID relief funds

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Rob Crissinger
Executive Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371

Leslie Berger
Assistant Executive Director of Communications
(405) 521-6647

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist




Hofmeister leads Oklahoma to top three in nation for schools’ use of COVID relief funds

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 22, 2022) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and public school districts in the state have spent down more federal coronavirus relief monies than all but two other states, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced today.

Data from the United States Department of Education (USDE) Educational Stabilization Fund transparency portal indicates that of the $2.3 billion the USDE has allocated to Oklahoma to support students in the wake of the pandemic, $1.033 billion had been spent by June 30, 2022, ranking the state third in the country. When taking into consideration three federal tranches of COVID stabilization funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, the OSDE and local districts have spent down 44.5% of funds. Only Iowa and Hawaii have expended a higher percentage of ESSER funds.

“Oklahoma educators have shown their commitment to serving the significant needs of more than 700,000 students impacted by the pandemic through the rapid deployment of federal COVID relief funds in the state,” Hofmeister said. “Data from the federal dashboard proves what I have known from the beginning of the pandemic – our districts were desperate for these funds and have used them to positively impact student achievement and well-being. I am confident we are well positioned to expend all ESSER funds within the timeframes established by the USDE.”

The first of the federal tranches, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, also known as ESSER I, was passed in March 2020, and nearly $161 million was allocated to Oklahoma in May 2020. Oklahoma has spent 98.6% of those funds ahead of the Sept. 30, 2022, deadline. Allocations of $665 million from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, or ESSER II, were made in January 2021, of which the state has spent 81.8%, with a spending deadline of September 2023. Under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), or ESSER III, nearly $1.5 billion was allocated in March 2021. With more than two years left before the Sept. 30, 2024, deadline, the state had expended 22.1% of ARP funding prior to the federal reporting deadline of June 30, 2022.

The OSDE has used its dedicated ESSER funding to invest in a host of initiatives to support students’ academic recovery and mental health needs, including the School Counselor Corps, Math Tutoring Corps and Classroom Learning and School Supplies (CLASS) grant.

For additional information on state-level initiatives in Oklahoma’s COVID-19 recovery plan, Ready Together Oklahoma, visit readytogether.sde.ok.gov. For additional information on ESSER funding, including district-level information, visit covid-relief-data.ed.gov.


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Last updated on August 22, 2022