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U.S. Department of Education responds to Superintendent Woods’ call for funding flexibility on fuel costs

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,

March 17, 2022 – On March 8, in response to world events that have led to escalating fuel costs, State School Superintendent Richard Woods released a statement calling on the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to specifically clarify that school districts could use ESSER K-12 relief funds to directly cover the rising costs of transporting students.

The Georgia Department of Education reached out to USED for this clarification, and they have responded with the below:

Supporting or providing transportation services for students is an allowable use of funds under ESSER and GEER as long as the need is related to COVID-19 (e.g., to support daily attendance at school to address the impact of lost instructional time) and the cost is reasonable and necessary. 

Additional detail has been provided to local superintendents.

Superintendent Woods' statement: 
“It is absolutely essential that we keep schools open and learning going for our students. That's why I called on the U.S. Department of Education to ensure schools could use ESSER funds to keep buses rolling so in-person learning could continue. We know that in-person instruction is most effective for the vast majority of our students, and the ability to use existing ESSER funds to meet rising fuel costs will allow our school districts to continue providing learning opportunities and supporting students' academic recovery."​