ED Publishes Template, Guidance on ARP Liquidation Extensions
Bruman Group LLC logo
The U.S. Department of Education shared a letter and guidance, as well as an updated template, on requesting extensions to the liquidation period under the third tranche of funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) fund (also known as ARP-ESSER) and the Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (ARP-EANS) program.
The template and guidance follow closely with versions published under the two prior funding years, but with several key differences.  First, grantees applying for an extension must list examples of supporting documentation available on the template during their application.  Additionally, the cover letter states that grantees must provide a cover letter that explains how the ARP ESSER and/or EANS liquidation extension request contributes to the “acceleration of academic success for students, including those furthest from opportunity and with the greatest need.”  The cover letter further goes on to note that examples of this kind of expenditure could include “increasing daily student attendance; providing high-quality tutoring; and increasing access to before, after, and summer learning and extended learning time.”  The letter does not prohibit extensions on other types of expenditures that districts and States have commonly made with ESSER funds, including construction.  It is also not clear if the grantee’s letter is meant to merely highlight certain expenditures, or if such an explanation must be made for each expenditure for which an extension is requested.
Finally, the grantee template – but not the subrecipient template – asks for an “explanation” for late liquidation and to describe measures taken to liquidate in a timely fashion but eliminates the language suggesting that simply needing more time to spend the money is not an adequate justification.  The subrecipient template still states that “needing more time to expend funds is not an adequate reason or justification for a liquidation extension.”
The  ARP ESSER Liquidation Extension LetterUpdated Technical FAQs for ARP ESSER and ARP EANS Liquidation Extensions, and Liquidation Extension Request template are available on ED’s website.  ED suggests that requests be filed by December 31, 2024.
About the Author

Julia Martin is an attorney with the Washington, DC law firm The Bruman Group, PLLC. Established in 1980, the Firm is nationally recognized for its federal education regulatory and legislative practice, providing legal advice regarding compliance with all major federal education programs as well as the federal grants management requirements, including the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). In addition, they work with agencies on federal spending flexibility, allowability, policies and procedures, audit defense and resolution and legislative updates. The Firm provides government relations services for the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA).