On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, putting nearly $2 trillion into all facets of the American economy. This legislation allocates approximately $122 billion to public education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER, or in this case ESSER III since it is the third round of relief funding), including $12.4 billion for public education and up to $3 billion for out of school time in Texas. You can find the full funding breakdown further below. This is an incredible opportunity and the funding we need to reimagine the future for our kids and all Texans. We must seize this moment to build something sustainable, communal, and equitable.
With these funds, we can take an enormous step closer to reaching every kid in Texas through high-quality OST and doing it in a way that engages whole communities. Together we can design and implement youth- and family-centric supports that will reduce poverty, proactively address racial and gender equity, and catch up those kids who most need us right now. With a collaborative, coordinated effort to advocate at the local, regional, and statewide levels, we can invest in community partnerships to build a sustainable ecosystem of support for whole child development and whole communities. Learn more about TXPOST’s initial advocacy strategies in our strategy memo and how community-based OST program providers can partner with schools in the one-pager below.