ARP ESSER Grant Timeline
Maine Department of Education (MDOE) applied for ARP ESSER III funding agreeing to mask requirements for all students knowing that the governor was going to end the State of Emergency in a mere 4 days later.
Between June 11, 2021 and the date the application was filed some districts did a complete about-face on their masking requirement once they realized funding was infact tied to masking.
It wasn't until September 13, 2021 that schools/districts were assured that the State of Maine would be given the funding to then distribute to all schools and school districts.
School administrators knew that funding was conditional on masking and could choose to opt-out.
While masking is a "recommendation" from the CDC, in order to receive funds under ARP ESSERIII schools/districts had to CERTIFY that they would obey all of the requirements.
The application and the federal requirements all specifically spell out the absolute need for "MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION WITH STAKEHOLDERS". In fact, the federal information that was distributed to schools as part of the Application says meaningful consultation 31 times!