It’s Easier Than You May Think to Use ESSER Money for Personnel

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It’s Easier Than You May Think to Use ESSER Money for Personnel

We are sharing a memo from our friends at CCSSO that is intended to clarify district confusion about the ability to use ESSER funding for employee compensation, including the requirements to abide by time distribution records or time and effort records. This memo provides examples of when these records are and are not required.

For example, if an employee spends part of its time coordinating COVID-19 testing and another part of its time fundraising, ESSER can only pay for the time spend on COVID-19 testing and could charge that time to ESSER funding. The LEA would need time distribution records to verify ESSER was only charged for the time spent on allowable activities. According to ED, however, such situations involving a combination of allowable and unallowable activities will be rare. Instead, most employees compensated with ESSER funds will work on activities that could all be charged to ESSER should the LEA choose to. When an employee works entirely on allowable ESSER activities – that is, when ESSER could pay for all of the activities an employee works on – SEAs and LEAs do not need to distinguish between activities and ED guidance states no time distribution records are required.

If superintendents were worried about the required paperwork associated with charging employee time to ESSER, we hope this memo, which was approved by USED, reassures you that it may not be as administratively challenging as you think.