Parents and residents near Neill Elementary School, Pecan Grove Elementary School, Bowie Middle School and Travis High School have an opportunity to decide how federal funds should be spent in their schools.

Fort Bend ISD is seeking input from its parents and community by creating an online survey asking how to make a draft application for fund from the Elementary and Secondary School Relief program, also known as ESSER III.

The survey is available at the district’s website, www.fortbendisd.com, until Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., and is available in English and Spanish.

ESSER is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which gives $122 billion in federal funds to elementary and secondary schools across the country.

In a deal between the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Department of Education, Texas plans to use its $4.1 billion in ESSER funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time for Texas students, and plans to offer more tutoring, instructional materials, and professional learning to help address the academic impact of lost instructional time.

FBISD has been allotted $94.7 million in ESSER III funds, with 20% of those funds to be used to help students deal with the losses they suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Texas Education Agency is asking school districts across the state to come up with plans to spend the federal money, which must be spent by 2024.

FBISD will use the additional resources to support students’ learning loss, academic and social-emotional supports, health and safety measures and continuity of services.

The TEA has allocated funding for Texas school districts, and FBISD is applying for its portion of the funds for the upcoming school year.

The Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan for the 2021-22 school year is also available for review on the FBISD website, in English and Spanish. The plan includes details on a range of topics related to the launch and progression of the new school year, which begins for students on Aug. 11.

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