American Rescue Plan: “Local Use of Funds” Plans

American Rescue Plan: “Local Use of Funds” Plans

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides substantial federal financial resources to support states and local school districts. Ohio’s state ARP plan recently was approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal requirements emphasize transparency and information for the public about actions to be taken and how financial resources will be used. Accordingly, districts and community schools are required to develop and publicly share two related local plans:

  1. The “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services” plans, which were due June 24, 2021 and can be accessed at the Ohio Department of Education website.
  2. Additionally, each district and community school must develop a “Local Use of Funds” plan detailing how ARP funds will be used at the local level.


Local use of funds plan

Each local education agency (LEA) must submit a detailed ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) budget application and plan to the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) system by Aug. 20, 2021. A template of the ARP ESSER application is located on the Ohio Department of Education website. This detailed budget application is necessary for the state to approve how the district budgets and plans align to allowable activities. The ARP ESSER detailed budgets may need to be revised based on changes to allocations.

As required by the U.S. Department of Education, districts and community schools must provide a public-facing and transparent description of their uses of the federal emergency ARP ESSER funds on their website. The Ohio Department of Education recommends districts and community schools ADD a summary of the Local Use of Funds plan to the existing Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services plan. 

Practical advice

Districts and community schools may wish to consider summarizing or copy-and-pasting the responses provided in the ARP ESSER CCIP application and adding them to existing continuity of services plans. Below are the questions on the CCIP application that may be most relevant:

  1. How will ARP ESSER funds be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent CDC guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning?
  2. How will the LEA use the funds it reserves under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year?
  3. How will the LEA spend its remaining ARP ESSER funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act?
  4. How will the LEA ensure that the interventions it implements, including but not limited to the interventions implemented under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, will respond to the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care and migratory students
  5. Briefly describe the extent to which the LEA intends to use ARP ESSER funds to promote remote learning.
  6. Describe the LEA’s plan for addressing learning loss by: administering and using high-quality assessments to assess students’ academic progress and meet students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction; implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students; providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment; and/or tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
  7. Describe the uses of funds for developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators and other staff.
  8. Describe how ARP ESSER Funds have been/will be used for other activities for maintaining the operations and continuity of services in the LEA and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA.

Each district and community school should post the Local Use of Funds plan on its local website by Aug. 20, 2021. The Local Use of Funds plan summaries can be ADDED to the currently posted Continuity of Service plans. If the plan is posted at a different location, then the website address that links directly to the summary should be submitted to

For questions about this requirement, please contact

Last Modified: 7/3/2023 1:37:09 PM