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CARES Act Funding for Non-Public Schools 

On June 12, 2020, the State of Florida provided guidance to Local Education Agencies (LEA) on Reopening Florida’s Schools and the CARES Act. The Florida Department of Education's (FLDOE)  full plan can be accessed on the their website. The plan focuses on the recovery efforts since the inception of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020 and how to prepare our schools and programs to reopen safely and ready for success. It also focuses on eliminating student achievement gaps, which have likely been exacerbated by this crisis.
UPDATE: In our efforts to meaningfully consult with our local not for profit non-public schools that are eligible to receive equitable services through CARES Act funds, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has developed an updated survey for non-public schools to complete and held another virtual meeting for non-public schools on January 22, 2021. 

Due January 22, 2021

Q & A Presentation slides (7/7/20) 
Presentation slides (6/22/20)


Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) K-12 Fund 

Budget Period: June 1, 2020 – September 30, 2022
The ESSER funds under the CARES Act are provided to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to address the impact that the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools in Florida. This includes developing and implementing plans for educational services and continued learning, whether school campuses are open or closed.
A local educational agency (M-DCPS) that receives funds under this Act may use the funds for any of 12 purposes listed below:
  1. Any activity authorized by the ESEA of 1965, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 or Subtitle VII-B of The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
  2. Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.
  3. Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.
  4. Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
  5. Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
  6. Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
  7. Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such agency.
  8. Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures, including how to provide meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, how to provide guidance for carrying out requirements under IDEA and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all federal, state, and local requirements.
  9. Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
  10. Providing mental health services and supports.
  11. Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental after school programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness and children in foster care.
  12. Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.

Administration - LEAs may claim reasonable and necessary administrative costs, including indirect costs based on their negotiated rates. LEAs may use up to their negotiated unrestricted indirect cost rate.

Equitable Services - CARES Act requires that LEAs remain in control of funds. For equitable services, this means that LEAs are the ones that do the purchasing of technology, supplies, contracted services and therapies allowable under the grant.  For any items purchased, the LEA will be the owner of those items. Allowable activities for non-public schools include items 1-12 previously listed.

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
Summer Recovery Services
Budget Period: June 1, 2020 - October 31, 2020
The purpose of this fund is to provide emergency support to local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education-related entities most impacted by the coronavirus or that the Governor deems essential for carrying out emergency educational services to students.
Districts and schools are required to prioritize target students with significant academic needs (on a trajectory for a level 1 or 2), and therefore requiring greater intervention, for 4-6 weeks of face-to-face learning on school campuses from July to August.
Grades K-3 students for 2019-2020 (1-4 for 2020-2021) identified with a substantial deficiency in reading based on most recent available screening and progress monitoring assessment or other forms of assessment and teacher recommendations; K-3 students who may be at risk of retention, and any third grade student with a substantial deficiency in reading must be prioritized.
Grades 4-5 students who were level 1 or 2 on their most recent FSA and are served in the lowest 300 performing or D and F schools across the state will also be eligible for summer program options to enhance literacy skills in reading and math.
Rising kindergartners identified with limited language and emergent literacy skills as determined by the VPK assessments and teacher recommendations would also be served using an aligned strategy, with funding for this option coming from OEL allotted CARES Act Funds.
When direct face-to-face services for the above Grades K-5 at-risk students are established, funds leftover may be used for direct in person or blended instruction for students Grades K-12.
Districts and schools participating in these summer program options must commit portions of their funding from the K-12 Fund to ensure teacher effectiveness and qualifications; incentivize student attendance, including transportation and food; communications with staff and parents, mentoring and paraprofessional use; pre- and progress monitoring assessment selection and data sharing; instructional time and content; and connection with students’ families.
Coronavirus Prevention and Response (Sanitation & Cleaning)
Budget Period: July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021
The Florida Department of Education recognizes that schools will immediately incur an increased cost to elevate the cleaning regimen necessary to create a healthier learning environment for students, teachers and staff. Schools should maintain a supply of adequate cloth face coverings and supplies for cleaning and disinfecting, including hand sanitizer, bleach wipes and spray and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Districts / non-public schools may also consider deep-cleaning equipment, such as electrostatic sprayers.
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
Building K-12 CTE Infrastructure
Budget Period: May 28, 2020 through September 30, 2022
To provide resources to build infrastructure and increase enrollment and capacity in high-demand career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Q.  What are the requirements for equitable services consultation with non-public schools?

A. An LEA is responsible for initiating the consultation process. It must contact officials in all nonprofit private schools in the LEA to notify them of the opportunity for their students and teachers to obtain equitable services under the CARES Act programs, including the GEER CTE Infrastructure, Capacity & Completion grant.

Q.  What are the eligibility requirements for non-public/private schools?

A. In order to participate in programs under the CARES act, a private school must be a nonprofit organization and have been in operation by or before March 13, 2020. In addition, under the GEER CTE infrastructure grant, a private school must have an existing or a new multi-course secondary CTE program to help districts scale sustainable solutions to high-quality remote instruction of CTE programs.

Ensuring the B.E.S.T Curriculum for Reading
Budget Period: January 5, 2021 through July 31, 2022
To support LEA’s including Charter School LEAs, with high-quality reading curriculum that is evidence-based, targeted to elementary schools with the greatest achievement gap, and implemented for K-3 students who have been identified with a reading deficiency or a substantial deficiency in reading and therefore need Tier 2 or Tier 3 instructional supports.
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
K-12 Civic Literacy Book List
Budget Period: January 5, 2021 through July 31, 2022
Florida’s new B.E.S.T. English Language Arts (ELA) Standards became the first in the nation to include a K-12 Civic Literacy Reading List. This funding is intended to help LEAs buy books from this list. Books must be purchased in accordance with the booklist prioritization chart.


•George Washington Abraham, Philip

•I Pledge Allegiance Martin, Bill Jr. and Sampson, Michael

•Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag Herman, John

•The Liberty Bell Firestone, Mary

•Woodrow, the White House Mouse Barnes, Peter

Grade 1

•D is for Democracy: A Citizen’s Alphabet Grodin, Elissa

•Liberty Rising Shea, Pegi Deitz

•Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin Adler, David A.

•The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks Rosenstock, Barb

•The Very First Americans Ashrose, Cara  


Grade 2

•Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, Castrovilla, Selene

•Susan B. Anthony: Fighter for Freedom and Equality Slade, Suzanne

•The Story of the Statue of Liberty Maestro, Betsy and Giulio

•We Live Here Too!: Kids Talk About Good Citizenship Loewen, Nancy

•We the People Cheney, Lynne


Grade 3

•A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution Maestro, Betsy

•The Congress of the United States Taylor-Butler, Christine

•Vote! Christelow, Eileen

•What are the Branches of Government? Matzke, Ann

•What is a Government? Bedesky, Baron


Grade 4

•Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 Mann, Charles C.

•Florida Orr, Tamra B.

•The Emancipation Proclamation Heinrichs, Ann

•The Reconstruction Amendments Burgan, Michael

•The U.S. Constitution and You Sobel, Syl



Grade 5

•James Madison: Champion of Liberty and Justice Kaminski, John

•The Bill of Rights Burgan, Michael

•The Constitution Colman, Warren

•United States Constitution Founding Fathers

•What Are the Parts of Government? Thomas, William David

Grade 6

•A Kids’ Guide to the Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship and the 100-Pound Giant, Krull, Kathleen

•Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider Fritz, Jean

•Democracy Hurwitz, Sue

•Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May-September 1787, Bowen, Catherine Drinker

•The Democratic Process Friedman, Mark


Grade 7

•A Kids’ Guide to the Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship and the 100-Pound Giant, Krull, Kathleen

•Explaining America: The Federalist Wills, Garry

•Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May-September 1787, Bowen, Catherine Drinker

•The Democratic Process Friedman, Mark

•Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Monk, Linda R.

Grade 8

•Explaining America: The Federalist Wills, Garry

•Letters from an American Farmer de Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St.John

•Lincoln: A Photobiography Freedman, Russell

•Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Douglass, Frederick

•Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Monk, Linda R.


Grades 9 – 12

•Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Franklin, Benjamin

•Democracy in America de Tocqueville, Alexis

•Federalist Papers Hamilton, Alexander; Madison, James; and Jay, John

•Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story McClay, Wilford M.

•Second Treatise on Government Locke, John

If a school has each book listed on this prioritization table for the grade levels served, funding may be used to purchase books on the K-12 Civic Literacy Booklist found at:

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
Data-Informed Supports
Budget Period: November 1, 2020 through October 29, 2021
To provide resources (Data Scientist position) for using and analyzing data to improve schools and student outcomes. School Districts across Florida are generating an unprecedented amount of data through progress monitoring tools, student support services, school improvement, and innovated instructional models during this pandemic. Therefore, this funding is aimed to leverage these data for making data-driven decisions.
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5. Must an LEA or another public agency maintain control of CARES Act funds used to provide equitable services?

Yes. Control of funds for services and assistance provided to non-public school students and teachers under the CARES Act programs, and title to materials, equipment and property purchased with such funds, must be in a public agency, and a public agency must administer such funds, materials, equipment, and property. In other words, no funds may go directly to a non-public school. In addition, services for non-public school students and teachers must be provided by a public agency directly or through contract with another public or private entity. (Section 18005(b) of the CARES Act).


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