HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating $2.2 billion in federal COVID-19 funds to K-12 schools affected by the pandemic.
The federal relief is provided by the bipartisan fund passed by Congress in December of 2020: the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) Fund.
Gov. Wolf commended school communities for rising to the challenge to combat the toll the pandemic has taken.
“This extra funding is critical to help schools meet the unique needs of educating students at this time while keeping school buildings safe when students return to the classroom,” he said.
The funding can be used for many different things: food service, technology purchases, sanitization and cleaning supplies, professional training, after-school/summer programs and mental health support.
“Additional, much-needed support is on its way to Pennsylvania schools,” said Acting Secretary Noe Ortega. “These funds will provide critical assistance to school communities as they continue to navigate COVID-19.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is urging school entities to continue to prioritize how these investments can accelerate opportunities for vulnerable students and their families, such as students with disabilities, those experiencing deep poverty, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care.
A list of the fund allocations is available on the PDE’s website. Funds must be used by September 2023.
School districts and charter schools must apply to PDE to obtain their allocated funds. The application process will be posted on the PDE website.