Are Emergency Relief Funds for School Districts Supporting Community Violence Interventions?
Endnotes Heading link
1 While ESSER was initially funded by the CARES Act, we limit our attention here to ESSER plans using funding allocated under the American Rescue Plan Act, since federal guidance on using ESSER dollars to support CVI work did not emerge until ARPA’s passage.
2 Our analysis here focuses on the largest school district in each of the 26 metropolitan cities contained in our sample (see Appendix for list).
3 While the Biden administration and other federal officials often use “community violence intervention” in their communications we use the phrase “CVI and violence prevention” because we draw a distinction between CVI and violence prevention. This distinction is not always present in guidance from federal agencies. For more on this topic see our August 8, 2022 blog post.
4 The administration has also encouraged state and local education agencies to use other sources of federal funding to address violence, which we do not analyze here. In October, the Department of Education sent a letter to chief state school officers noting other sources of support that could help to advance CVI goals “combat gun violence and other violent crime” through CVI and violence prevention strategies. First, the letter mentioned the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program (21st CCLC), a $1.26 billion program in fiscal year (FY) 2021 that supports the creation of community learning centers for out-of-school and summer learning programs to help students who attend schools with high rates of students living in poverty and that are underperforming. This funding, the department suggested, could help efforts aimed at “re-engaging disconnected youth and supporting students impacted by the trauma of community violence” through a variety of programs. Second, the letter mentioned The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program, a $1.22 billion grant program that supports student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of states, local educational agencies, schools, and local communities to improve school conditions for student learning.
5 Local education agencies (LEAs) must report funds spent in each of the following categories: Addressing Physical Health and Safety, Meeting Students’ Academic, Social, Emotional, and Other Needs (Excluding Mental Health Supports), Mental Health Supports for Students and Staff, and Operational Continuity and Other Uses. Additionally, LEAs must note funds committed to activities that reengage students with poor attendance or participation, maintain safe in-person instruction, provide internet access, and address learning loss. Unlike the SLFRF, there is not specific category for violence intervention or prevention.
6 It is worth noting that our analysis only looks at planned spending as opposed to actual.
Appendix: School Districts Included in Analysis
|Name||Enrollment (2019)||Web Address|
|Albuquerque School District||89,788||http://WWW.APS.EDU|
|Atlanta Public Schools||52,377||http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/|
|Austin Independent School District||80,032||http://www.austin.isd.tenet.edu|
|Baltimore City Schools||79,297||https://www.baltimorecityschools.org|
|Boston City School District||51,433||https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/|
|Buffalo Public Schools||33,756||http://WWW.BUFFALOSCHOOLS.ORG|
|Chicago Public Schools||359,476||https://www.cps.edu/|
|Denver School District||92,039||https://www.dpsk12.org/|
|Detroit Public Schools||49,931||http://www.detroitk12.org|
|East Baton Rouge School District||40,668||https://ebrschools.org|
|Jersey City School System||29,255||http://www.jcboe.org/|
|Los Angeles Unified School District||596,937||http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/|
|Milwaukee Public Schools||75,431||http://www.milwaukee.k12.wi.us|
|Minneapolis Special School District||35,580||http://WWW.MPLS.K12.MN.US|
|Newark City School System||40,448||http://WWW.NPS.K12.NJ.US|
|Oakland Unified School District||36,524||http://WWW.OUSD.K12.CA.US|
|Philadelphia School District||132,520||https://www.philasd.org/|
|Phoenix Union High School District||27,573||http://WWW.PHXHS.K12.AZ.US|
|Pittsburgh City School District||22,934||http://www.pghboe.net/|
|Portland School District||48,710||https://www.pps.net/|
|Shelby County School District||112,125||http://www.scsk12.org/|
|St. Louis City Board of Education||21,814||http://www.slps.org/|
|St. Paul Public School District||36,888||https://www.spps.org/|
|Stockton City Unified School District||37,565||http://www.stockton.k12.ca.us/|
|Toledo City School District||23,302||http://www.tps.org/|