The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by Local
Education Agencies (LEAs), schools, and educators to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding is aimed at helping such organizations nationwide recover from the effects of the pandemic. Funds may be used to:

  • Coordinate preparedness and response efforts to COVID-19;
  • Provide principals and other school leaders with resources to address individual school needs;
  • Address the unique needs of low-income children, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including outreach and service delivery;
  • Implement systems to improve LEA preparedness and response efforts;
  • Deliver professional development for LEA staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious disease and purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean LEA facilities;
  • Plan for and coordinate operations during long-term closures, including how to provide meals, technology for online learning, guidance for carrying out IDEA requirements, and providing educational services consistent with applicable requirements;
  • Purchase educational technology (including hardware, software and connectivity) for students;
  • Provide staff and student mental health services and supports;
  • Plan and implement summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs; and
  • Initiate other activities necessary to maintain LEA operations and services and employ existing LEA staff, including any activity authorized by ESEA which include the Title programs, IDEA, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Perkins, and McKinney-Vento.

Click here to learn more from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDF) website.