Let me start by telling you there’s been a change in the timeline for the implementation of EANS. Previously, the applications from the Governors to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) were due on February 8. There has been an extension—the applications are now due from the Governors on February 22. ED has been turning around the release of funding very quickly after receiving the applications from Governors. What this means if that very soon after the application from the Governor is received by ED the clock starts ticking to obligate the funds within 6 months. Because many states were not yet ready to kick off implementation, the deadline for applying to ED has been extended. It remains that the SEA will need to obligate the funds within 6 months of receipt.
What does this mean for you? Here are some steps to take to be sure you are ready to hit the ground running as soon as your state application is available:
- PREPARE FOR APPLYING: Access the sample application available from ED. This sample application contains all of the requirements of the law that you will need to submit to the state in order to apply for EANS participation. If you prepare this information, you can simply plug it in as appropriate in the particular application format your state chooses. The sample application is available here: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/emergency-assistance-non-public-schools/ (Scroll to the bottom left of page for Additional Links).
- GATHER YOUR LOW-INCOME DATA: A key part of the application is to provide an estimation of school poverty. There is an emphasis in the FAQs from ED that existing data should be used to the greatest extent possible, and if existing data is not available, the SEA should work with the private schools to find a substitute option that can be obtained quickly. One of those options is proportionality, which you may be familiar with from the Title I program. The FAQs list possible source of low-income data as available free and reduced-price lunch data, scholarship or financial aid data, E-rate data, or other relevant data such as information provided for state or local programs or data collection.
- PREPARE YOUR PLAN OF ACTION: EANS funds can be used for a wide array of educational activities that address learning loss and challenges to teaching and learning due to the pandemic, as well as reimbursements for past and potentially future expenditures and for safety activities dure to the pandemic. Additionally, you may still have unspent CARES funds allocated to your students through equitable services, and you have the ongoing programs authorized by IDEA and the ESSER programs (such as Title I, Title IIA Professional Development, Title III English Learners, Title IVA Academic Support). Thinking strategically about your student needs, the impact of the pandemic on student learning, and the reality of learning loss will help you make the most of your EANS benefits.
Some ideas for use of EANS funds include:
- Summer instruction for all students or for those students most in need.
- Early start to the school year, providing an additional 2-3 weeks of instruction for those most at risk of learning loss due to the pandemic.
- Extension of services already provided through other federal education programs.
- Particular attention to students with special needs who may be disproportionately affected by pandemic disruptions to learning.
- Use of assessments to identify learning gaps and develop personalized learning plans.
- Targeted intervention to ensure that students most in need of additional help benefit from that help.
- Social-emotional assessment and growth plans for students.
- Counseling and social work, including family support services.
- Professional development and coaching, particularly in regard to effectively teaching virtually and with hybrid learning models.
Many of you have asked how much funding to plan on. I wish I could tell you! Hopefully when your state begins that implementation of the EANS program you will be given a planning estimate. In the meantime, research shows that an average per pupil allocation that you could use for planning purposes is $520/child. That number could go up when private schools in your state apply for PPP rather than EANS, but could go down for schools with fewer low-income children depending on how the SEA weights the low-income factor.
- STAY IN TOUCH: Be sure you are in the know. That means checking your state ombudsman website regularly and getting on an email list if one exists. Are you part of a Catholic diocese? Do you belong to a membership organization for private schools, such as a BJE, a state CAPE, etc.? Whatever your situation, if you are interested in participating in EANS, be sure you are “visible” to those with the information. Be sure they know you are interested.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF: Finally, if you are unsure of all the ins and outs of EANS, or simply want to keep up to date, there are resources available to you. Check out the ED website listed above for the sample application—the other “additional links” are important, and in the upper left under the banner you will see a link to the states that have applied for funding and the amount of funding being provided. Also, you can find resources on my website. Please go to equitableservicesmdec.com. The previous blogs are posted as are the webinars that were sponsored by Catapult Learning and in which I participated.
Keep in touch if I can be of help! Just click “Ask Michelle” on my website. Stay safe out there!
All the best,
Michelle L. Doyle
Michelle Doyle Educational Consulting