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Correction (3/14/23): Reporting requirements in Figure 3 have been corrected.

March 10, 2023

The 2023-24 Budget

State and Federal One-Time K-12 Funding

In recent years, schools have received significant one-time state and federal funding to address a variety of issues, including the effects of learning loss and higher costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of these funds remain available to be spent in schools. In this post, we describe the recent one-time state and federal funding that can be used flexibly by schools, discuss reporting requirements, and share the latest information regarding how much funding remains unspent.

Schools in California Received a Variety of One-Time State and Federal Funding in Recent Years. Schools in California received $23 billion in federal funding and about $18 billion in state funding that can be used relatively flexibly. The federal government provided funding in three rounds of grants (enacted in 2020 and 2021) through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund. (We provide more information regarding federal funding in our publication, Overview of Federal Relief for K-12 Education and Child Care.) The state allocations were enacted from spring 2021 through June 2022. As Figure 1 shows, about $2 billion in federal funds was used in combination to state funds to support the Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant (ELOG), with program rules and allowable expenditures set by the state.

Figure 1

Recent One‑Time K‑12 State and Federal Funding

(In Billions)





Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund—grants to schools

Each of the three federal relief packages include funding to support schools. Funding may generally be used for any activity aligned with existing federal programs, such as services for low‑income students or students with disabilities. Funds may also be used for activities in response to COVID‑19, such as repairing and improving school facilities and addressing learning loss. Funding allocated based on federal Title I, Part A allotments.



Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant

May be used for a variety of academic and social‑emotional activities, including increasing instructional learning time, providing tutoring and other academic services, offering additional instruction to students not on track to graduate, and addressing other barriers to learning. Funding is distributed based on the number of students who are English learners, low‑income, or foster youth.


Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants

Most funding may be used for before and after school programs, academic or support services, and other measures to address learning loss. Ten percent of funding must be used specifically to hire paraprofessionals that provide supplemental instruction and support through the duration of the program. Formula allocates $1,000 per homeless student. Remaining funding allocated based on 2020‑21 Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) apportionments.


Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant

Funds may be used for instructional materials and professional development related to school climate (such as training on de‑escalation strategies) and various academic subject areas, including visual and performing arts. Funds may also be used for operational staffing costs, materials and equipment to keep schools safely open during the COVID‑19 pandemic, and purchasing diverse and culturally relevant books and text that supports independent student reading. Funding is distributed on a per‑student basis.


In‑Person Instruction Grants

Funding may cover any costs associated with providing in‑person instruction. Funding is allocated based on 2020‑21 LCFF apportionments. (Non‑classroom based charter schools are not eligible for funding.) Funding is contingent upon meeting certain in‑person instruction requirements.


Educator Effectiveness

Provides grants based on the number of full‑time equivalent school staff for training on a variety of topics.


aReflects $1.5 billion from ESSER I, $6 billion from ESSER II, and $13.6 billion from ESSER III.

bReflects $2.5 billion in state funding and $2 billion in federal ESSER flexible funding available for statewide purposes.

Funds Can Be Used Over a Multiyear Period. As Figure 2 shows, the state and federal funding sources are available over multiple years. Most funding sources may still be spent in the current year and subsequent years.

Figure 2 - Most Funds Can Be Used Over a Multiyear Period

State and Federal Reporting Requirements Differ. As Figure 3 shows, all of the state funded one-time initiatives have different reporting requirements. Some initiatives have interim and final reporting requirements, while others only require final expenditure reports. The state will also receive information on how funds are spent based on unaudited expenditure data schools must report annually. We note that schools are required to submit quarterly expenditure reports for all of the federal relief funding they received. This includes all rounds of ESSER funding, as well as the portion of the ELOG program funded with federal funds.

Figure 3

Reporting Requirements for State Programs


Interim Reporting

Final Report Due

Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant

December 2024 and December 2027.

September 2029.a

Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants

Quarterly reports for spending of federal funds.

December 2024.

Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant


No final report required.

In‑Person Instruction Grants


December 2022.

Educator Effectiveness

Annually in September.

December 2026.a

aSchool districts that do not submit a final expenditure report must return all funding to the state.

Limited Information Regarding How Much State Funding Has Been Spent. Given that most of the one-time state programs do not yet have expenditure reports available or were just recently enacted, the state will not know for some time how funding has been spent. However, recent spending data for 2021-22 provide a snapshot of spending as of June 2022. Specifically, the data shows that $1.2 billion (80 percent) of educator effectiveness funding and $622 million (24 percent) of state funding for ELOG were unspent at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Schools will have an additional two years to spend their ELOG funds and four years to spend their educator effectiveness funding. Any funding that is unspent at the end of the period will return to the state.

About Half of Federal Funding Remains Unspent. Based on expenditure reports that cover spending through December 31, 2022, roughly $11 billion (55 percent) of ESSER funding from the second and third rounds remains unspent. This reflects roughly $1.4 billion available from ESSER II (available until September 2023) and $9.5 billion from ESSER III (available until September 2024). Based on expenditure reports that cover spending through September 30, 2022, roughly $1.2 billion (57 percent) of federal funding for the ELOG remains unspent. Any funding that is unspent at the end of the period will return to the federal government.

Consider Available Funds as Part of Budget Planning. As the Legislature develops the 2023-24 budget, it may want to consider the one-time funding that remains available for schools. Although some of these funds may be spent during the 2022-23 school year, schools likely will have several billions of dollars remaining for future years. In conjunction with their 2023-24 funding, remaining one-time funds will be available to support many of the additional activities funded in recent years to better support students and address learning loss that occurred during the pandemic.