Advance Notice of Federally Required ESSER Monitoring Starting in April

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Business Managers, Principals, Charter School Leaders, Education Partner Leaders and Communicators, Communicable Disease Preparedness Liaisons, K-12 Public Information Officers 
From: ODE ESSER Team, Led by Josh Halsey and Cynthia Stinson
Date: February 24, 2023
Subject: Advance Notice of Federally Required ESSER Monitoring Starting in April

Greetings Superintendents and Business Managers,

As spring is quickly approaching, we want to ensure you have advance notice regarding federally required ESSER monitoring that ODE will initiate in April.  

In alignment with requirements from the US Department of Education (USED) and the Oregon Secretary of State (SOS), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) will begin desk monitoring of school districts regarding the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds in the spring of 2023.

ESSER funds provide districts with flexible financial resources to support students and the districts recovery from the pandemic, and ODE is federally required to ensure district compliance with federal guidelines. But, more importantly, ODE wants to learn from districts regarding how ESSER investments are affecting student learning and well-being, particularly for students most impacted by the pandemic. 

ODE recognizes the additional strain that monitoring can cause districts, especially smaller districts, and therefore we have committed to a streamlined and intentional approach. Up to 20 districts will be selected and notified for ESSER monitoring in March, with desk monitoring occurring from April through June. Districts will be chosen based on a risk assessment that includes factors such as:

  • Percentage of Unclaimed ESSER Funds
  • Percentage of ESSER Funds Allocated for Capital Projects
  • Percentage of ESSER Funded Capital Projects Reimbursed 
  • Timely Submission of Annual ESSER Data
  • Recent Audit Findings

Any district identified for monitoring will be notified via email by ODE in March. For those selected districts, ODE will host several office hours in late March to learn more about the ESSER monitoring process and ask questions of ODE staff. When finalized, the ESSER monitoring information will also be available on the ODE website. 

We care about being responsive and providing support throughout this monitoring process. Thank you for all your ongoing efforts to steward this historic ESSER investment within your district. 

Please reach out to ODE’s ESSER team with any questions you have: