The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, more commonly known as ESSER, has been created for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools and school districts, with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.

Three separate pieces of federal legislation funded ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III, in order to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by addressing students' academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs, and considering the unique needs of student groups most negatively impacted by the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to students from historically underrepresented populations, students who are English Learners, students with disabilities, students from families experiencing poverty, children and youth in foster care, and students experiencing homelessness.

ESSER is the single largest targeted investment in K–12 public education in the history of our nation.