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American Rescue Plan: IES Paving the Way to Learning Recovery

Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides $100 million to IES to support research to address learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic among all learners, including those with or at risk for disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care. Learn more about how we are using those funds to gather data, invest in research grants, and ensure that the information we generate about accelerating learning is translated into forms that are useful, usable, and used.


The School Pulse Panel
The School Pulse Panel (SPP) is a monthly survey collecting much-needed information on issues concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. The SPP is one of the nation's few sources of reliable data on a wealth of information focused on school reopening efforts as reported by school district staff and principals in U.S. public schools.


Establishing Three Education Research Networks

Leveraging Evidence to Accelerate Recovery Nationwide Network (LEARN Network)

The LEARN Network supports adapting and scaling evidence-based products that have the potential to accelerate learning for K–12 students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PreK–12 RESTART Network (Research on Education Strategies to Advance Recovery and Turnaround)

This network will work directly with state and local education agencies on their recovery efforts, providing evidence to help assess, improve, and select potential K–12 recovery activities.

Accelerating Recovery in Community College Network (ARCC Network)

This network will collaborate with community college systems to provide evidence-based recovery activities that address the declines in postsecondary enrollment and academic progress that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting State Education Policymaking

Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Education Policymaking
The Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Education Recovery Policymaking grant program supports state agencies' use of their state's education longitudinal data systems to answer questions identified as they and local education agencies reengage their students after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Supporting Learners with Disabilities

Research to Accelerate Pandemic Recovery in Special Education
The Research to Accelerate Pandemic Recovery in Special Education grant program addresses the challenges districts and schools face in supporting learners with or at risk for disabilities, their teachers, and their families in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) -Augmented Learning for Individuals with Disabilities, Theme 6 Track B of the NSF National Artificial Intelligence Institute Competition
NCSER is partnering with the National Science Foundation National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes to fund research and development of AI-driven innovations to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learners with disabilities.

Award will be announced in December 2022.

Learning Acceleration Challenges: Math Prize
The Math Prize called for school-based, digital interventions to significantly improve math outcomes, especially in the area of fractions, for upper elementary school students with or at risk for a disability that affects math.
Two finalists were awarded $25,000 each in Phase 1:

  • Finalist 1: The DRUM (Digital Rational Number) Intervention
  • Finalist 2: ExploreLearning

In Phase 2, finalists will implement their interventions at partner schools between November 2022 and April 2023. The Math Prize will offer up to $725,000 in additional Phase 2 prizes.


Evidence-based Practices for Recovery and Renewal highlights information on evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for all learners. This curated site has evidence, tools, and other materials that may be useful to states, districts, schools, and institutions of higher education.

Additional Resources

Sign up for IES ARP-Funding Updates (IES NewsFlash)

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Bill Text (U.S. Congress)

Update on the IES Use of ARP Funds (Blog from IES Director Mark Schneider, who shares update on IES Use of ARP Funds – August 31, 2021)

The Road to Learning Recovery (Blog from IES Director Mark Schneider, who shares planned activities – March 16, 2021)