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COVID-19 Federal Recovery Funds

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)

Tulsa Public Schools has been allocated three rounds of federal recovery funds since March 2020, totaling a little more than $205 million. These funds are reimbursed by the Oklahoma State Department of Education after submission of claims that meet the ESSER investment criteria established by the federal government.

Federal recovery expenditures have three levels of accountability for legal compliance with the grant:

  • Tulsa Public Schools staff review
  • Oklahoma State Department of Education review
  • External independent auditors

Per federal and state guidance, all of these funds must be used to "prevent, prepare for, respond to, or recover from Coronavirus."

Round of recovery funds

Amount and date

Current status

CARES/ESSER I - signed in March 2020 

$16,295,033 available to spend through 9/30/22.

An additional $360,070 was awarded through a competitive grant to support the science of reading.  These funds are available through 9/30/22.

This funding is fully spent.

ESSER II - signed in December 2020

$58,271,076 available to spend through 9/30/23.

This funding is fully spent.

ESSER III/American Rescue Plan - signed in March 2021 

$131,006,737 available to spend through 9/30/24.

20% of this amount must be spent to address the academic impact of lost instructional time.

We have plans to spend these funds to support our strategic plan and other needs. As of July 1, 2023, there is ~$55.8M remaining in ESSER III/American Rescue Plan funding.

In April 2021, the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education began an extensive community outreach effort, completing 35 engagement and listening sessions to understand the community’s expectations. In June 2021, a 30-person community committee was created to guide the development of the strategic plan; six core strategies were approved in August 2021. More than a dozen stakeholder engagement sessions were hosted beginning in September 2021 to share the strategies and collect feedback. 


Tulsa Public Schools has taken the community engagement and survey feedback into consideration, as well as examined the ever-evolving needs of the district as we respond to COVID-19, and has developed a plan to spend the remaining American Rescue Plan dollars. These plans are subject to change as the needs of our school community change. Our intent is to spend dollars within the categories listed below, though individual investment amounts may shift within categories.

As we enter the final year of utilizing federal recovery funds, we have approximately $55.8 million of ESSER III/American Rescue Plan dollars remaining to invest in our strategic plan and other areas. Once the fiscal year is complete, we will update our report on this page, which will include the final figures and specify the investments allocated under ESSER III/American Rescue Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions