Get our newsletters

Wolf administration applies for $523 million in emergency funds to support schools

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today submitted its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund application to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to obtain approximately $523.8 million in emergency, one-time funds to help schools respond to COVID-19 impacts.

“Pennsylvania’s educators have been working under extraordinary conditions from the onset of the coronavirus, first helping students and families to receive food and then setting up systems to provide continued education,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “Unfortunately, this crisis has also placed tremendous financial pressures on our schools. These funds will provide an initial measure of relief, and we appreciate the quick action by Congress. At the same time, emergency educational needs require Congress to pass another significant appropriation for states and schools.”

Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, at least 90%, or $471 million, of the funds must flow through to traditional public schools and charter schools. Each entity will receive an amount proportional to federal Title I-A funds received in 2019 under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining 10% of ESSER funds will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19

PDE expects USDE to approve the state’s ESSER application within one week and is finalizing a streamlined application to ensure that funds are available to schools in an expedited manner. View a list of what each school district and charter school will receive in ESSER funds at

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.