Whenever federal funding is made available to schools, questions inevitably follow. Our Educator’s Guide to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Funding helps clarify the many rules and regulations involved with this type of funding, and provides answers to the questions you may have.
As an educator, you’ll need to know all there is to know about EANS funds, such as:
- What is EANS and why should I apply for it?
- How do I know if my school is eligible for EANS funding?
- How do I apply for EANS funding?
- How do I access the funds, and how can I spend the money?
Read on to learn the answers to all of your EANS funding questions.
What is EANS?
The EANS program is broken into two allocations:
- EANS I is $2.75 billion allocated to non-public elementary and secondary schools as part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) fund under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (Dec 2020). EANS I funding is prioritized to those non-public schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by COVID-19. Reimbursements for allowable expenses incurred since March 13, 2020 are permitted.
- EANS II is a second round of an additional $2.75 allocated as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act (March 2021). Under EANS II, a State Education Agency (SEA) provides services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of children from low-income families and are most impacted by COVID19.
EANS I funds may be used to provide reimbursements for costs incurred by non-public schools; reimbursements are not allowable under EANS II funding, however.
Reimbursement eligibility depends on your state. Although it is allowable under EANS I (not allowable under EANS II), it’s not required that states reimburse for expenditures, and it will depend on state law or the comfort level of some states giving money to nonpublic schools.
You can find the entire list of EANS I funding options from the U.S. Department of Education by clicking here.
Why should I apply for EANS?
One of the main drivers behind EANS funding is that it can be used toward resources that allow non-public schools to accelerate their students’ learning and make up the lost learning time that resulted from COVID.
Put plainly, the government is offering non-public schools a substantial amount of money to address the many issues that COVID created, which is why it makes sense for non-public schools to apply for the funding.
Is my school eligible?
There are a few layers to this question, especially as EANS funding pertains to other federal funding your school may be receiving. Receiving EANS funding will not impact any federal funding because EANS is technically not considered a receipt of federal funds; fiscal control of EANS funding remains with the state. Guidance dictates that participating in a state program or a district’s program does not constitute receipt of federal funds. If these are services being provided by the state or by a third party engaged by the state, there’s no risk of being seen as a recipient of federal funds.
Even if your school was not eligible for the first round of COVID relief funding (CARES), you may be eligible for EANS funding. But there are a few important points to note:
EANS I Eligibility
- All nonprofit private schools should be eligible for EANS I funding, but can only receive Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 OR EANS I—schools are not eligible to receive both.
- If you received PPP Round 1 funding, you are still eligible for EANS funding.
- If you received PPP Round 2 funding, your school is not eligible for EANS I funding.
- Schools do NOT have to be receiving Title 1 funding to receive EANS funding. All nonprofit non-public schools should be able to apply.
EANS II Eligibility
- Participation in EANS II is limited to private schools that enroll a significant percentage of students from low-income families AND are most impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
- Recent guidance issued for EANS II funding suggests schools that received PPP Round 2 funding will likely not be eligible for EANS II funds.
- Schools do NOT have to be receiving Title 1 funding in order to receive EANS II funding. All nonprofit non-public schools should be able to apply.
How do I apply for EANS funding?
The process varies from state to state. Additionally, some states have different application criteria, such as some states requiring that schools have a partner already identified for services when submitting an application. Be sure to check your state’s guidelines on the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education website’s EANS page.
Each state has until September 9, 2021 to apply for EANS II funds but may submit an application at any time. In states where allocations have initially been made, a second round of EANS I applications is being accepted to disperse more available funds. The application can be found here.
As of late August 2021, more than 30 states had either received, were ready to begin receiving, or were in the process of finalizing EANS I allocations. Funding allocations vary by state, depending on when the application was received. States have six (6) months from receipt to obligate EANS funds.
I received an EANS allocation. Now what?
Once you’ve received your funding, it should be used for any number of services that address educational disruptions caused by COVID-19 and support your school’s health and safety and education.
EANS II funding can be applied toward the following services:
- Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems
- Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases
- Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing
- Other materials, supplies, or equipment recommended by the CDC for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety
- Expanding capacity to administer COVID testing to effectively monitor and suppress the virus
- Educational technology
- Redeveloping instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote or hybrid learning, or to address learning loss
EANS I funding can be applied toward all of the EANS II services listed above, PLUS:
- Leasing sites or spaces to ensure safe social distancing
- Reasonable transportation costs
- Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss
I missed out on the first round of EANS. Am I eligible for round 2?
All nonprofit private schools should be eligible for this round of funding but can only receive PPP Round 2 or EANS I (not both). Receipt of PPP Round 1 does not impact participation in EANS. As of April 10, 2021, there was no definitive answer from the U.S. Department of Education if receipt of Round 2 PPP impacts participation in EANS II.
EANS funding is available to help your school recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and our advice would be to take full advantage of it. By addressing the learning loss that students (especially from low-income areas) are dealing with and putting programs in place designed to close that learning gap, the funding can help make a difference for both students and educators.
If you still have questions or would like to learn more about EANS funding, feel free to contact us or access our EANS webinar here.