Guidance on EANS Funding

The EANS program is a crucial resource to help schools emerge from the pandemic & plan for a brighter future.

Given the significant funding, it will be highly beneficial for schools to think carefully about their needs and the needs of their students and to strategically plan to use the funding over the next few years. Of course, with all the competing and ever-present demands of running a school amidst a global pandemic, it is sometimes hard to carve out the time for this analysis. We want to share with you four guidelines which are helpful in developing school-wide plans to utilize federal education program funding.

We hope that the following four suggestions will be useful to you in planning for your school.
  • Schools have encountered myriad additional costs in responding to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. Some of these costs may be reimbursed through the EANS program, thereby freeing up funding in your operating budget to use flexibly as you see fit.

    EANS has specific rules relating to reimbursements. Student support services are generally not reimbursable, but they can be provided through a third party or by the state directly. However, certain pandemic related costs such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), physical barriers, COVID tracing and testing, cleaning supplies, portable air filters, and leasing of additional spaces for social distancing are reimbursable.  In addition, schools may be reimbursed for educational technology such as iPads, laptops, and smart boards.  Since reimbursements will not be allowed for EANS 2.0, schools should try to recoup as many costs as possible with EANS I funding.

  • Schools should also take stock of additional federal funding streams that may be available such as the Title Programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Some schools may also have remaining ESSER funds to utilize as well as state or local grant funding.  It is important to be aware of the deadline for each funding stream so that you can plan out which funding source should be used and in what order.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of the deadlines for each program:

  • Different programs have different allowable uses. One new use for EANS funding is for services for preschool-aged students and their teachers.  Preschools are often left out of federal programs funding, so this is a great opportunity to offer some support to your youngest learners.

    Additionally, certain costs, such as cleaning services that were expressly allowed under ESSER, are not allowable under EANS. Strategically aligning the allowable uses for each grant with your current and projected needs will go a long way in stretching this funding to maximally benefit your school.

  • Before starting a new program, consider how the program might be sustained once the COVID relief funding is no longer available. For example, if you would like to build a special education program in your school, consider investing in teacher coaching to build your staff’s capacity to address the needs of all learners for years to come.  You might also consider using EANS funding to provide direct special education services. As you implement in your school these special education initiatives, it will be important for you to learn how to access IDEA funding which, as previously explained, will be available long after the COVID relief funding is no longer available. By learning how to access IDEA funding today, you can prepare for and assure that these initiatives can become part of the long-term fabric of your school.