Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


Historic federal funding and Local input

The third and largest round of federal COVID aid is sending $3.6 billion directly to school districts statewide, and districts are required to include educator input on how the money is spent. Watch the video and read more below about how TEA and your local are working to ensure educator voices are included.

TEA member resources:

The relief aid is known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). The first two rounds -- ESSER 1 & 2 -- were used by districts in a variety of ways, including teacher bonuses, adding mental health workers and food service vehicles, and even paid for employee daycare. This new third round of funding dwarfs the first two. This third round of funding equals about half of the current yearly BEP funding.

Districts must submit a plan by August 27 or 31 (according to recent guidance from the Department of Education) detailing how the funds will be used over a three year period. How these dollars are used is a local decision based on federal law. These new federal dollars may be used for teacher compensation such as bonuses and stipends, mental health supports for students and staff, facility improvements for better air, water, and light, and items for communications and electronics. There are a wide variety of uses allowed under federal law.

Federal rules also require school districts get meaningful input from stakeholders, specifically educators and their professional associations like TEA. It is an unprecedented opportunity to make educators’ voices heard. Providing input on these August 31 spending plans matters and can have a great impact.

There is a simple strategy every local association can implement to help shape these ESSER 3 spending plans.

  • TEA has a template letter local leaders can send district leadership about consulting on the plan.
  • There is a model survey that can be customized for your local and sent to members and non-members alike to ensure educator priorities for these funds are part of the planning. 

Local leaders can rely on TEA expertise on ESSER, along with the knowledge of best practices of other school systems in spending plans. We have the research and information to help drive the planning for these unprecedented funds.

TEA UniServ and staff are ready to assist local leaders in this brief but important process.     

Remember, spending plans are due August 27 and 31. Now is the time to engage this simple strategy of a survey and letter to impact how these funds are used.

Federal Funding Fact Sheets by School District
Alamo Dayton Hickman County McKenzie SSD Sevier County
Alcoa Decatur County Houston County McMinn County Shelby County
Anderson County DeKalb County H-Rock-Bruceton SSD McNairy County Smith County
Arlington Dickson County Humboldt Meigs County South Carroll SSD
Athens Dyer County Humphreys County Milan SSD Stewart County
Bartlett Dyersburg Huntingdon SSD Millington Sullivan County
Bedford County Elizabethton Jackson County Monroe County Sumner County
Bells Etowah Jefferson County Montgomery County Sweetwater
Benton County Fayette County Johnson City Moore County TN School
for the Blind
Bledsoe County Fayetteville Johnson County Morgan County TN School
for the Deaf
Blount County Fentress County Kingsport Murfreesboro Tipton County
Bradford SSD Franklin County Knox County Newport Trenton SSD
Bradley County Franklin SSD Lake County Oak Ridge Trousdale County
Bristol Germantown Lakeland Obion County Tullahoma
Campbell County Gibson County SSD Lauderdale County Oneida SSD Unicoi County
Cannon County Giles County Lawrence County Overton County Union City
Carter County Grainger County Lebanon SSD Paris SSD Union County
Cheatham County Greene County Lenoir City Perry County Van Buren County
Chester County Greeneville Lewis County Pickett County Warren County
Claiborne County Grundy County Lexington Polk County Washington County
Clay County Hamblen County Lincoln County Putnam County Wayne County
Cleveland Hamilton County Loudon County Rhea County Weakley County
Clinton Hancock County Macon County Richard City SSD West Carroll SSD
Cocke County Hardeman County Madison County Roane County West TN School
for the Deaf
Coffee County Hardin County Manchester Robertson County White County
Collierville Hawkins County Marion County Rogersville Williamson County
Crockett County Haywood County Marshall County Rutherford County Wilson County
Cumberland County Henderson County Maryville Scott County York Institute
Davidson County Henry County Maury County Sequatchie County