Begin Main Content Area

April 9, 2021

This message was shared for the 2020-21 school year.

As outlined in the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) March 29, 2021 guidance on ARP ESSER funding, PDE will post weekly updates on its implementation of the ARP ESSER fund, beginning April 9. The first edition appears below.

When will PDE open the ARP-ESSER application?

PDE will open the ARP ESSER subgrant application in eGrants in May, following receipt of additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

PDE will notify eligible schools when the application is available.

What is the allowable period for utilization of ARP ESSER funding?

From March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2024.

More specifically, ARP ESSER funding may be utilized for allowable costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national emergency was declared; is available for obligation by both PDE and subrecipients through September 30, 2023; and, under the Tydings Amendment (Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act 20 U.S.C 1225(B)), any funds not obligated at the end of the federal funding period (i.e., September 2023) remain available for obligation for an additional period of 12 months.

How will PDE administer ARP ESSER funding?

Consistent with its administration of other Federal funds, including both ESSER I and II, PDE will reimburse allowable costs monthly through the Financial Accounting Information system.

What are allowable uses of ARP ESSER funding by a subrecipient?

A subrecipient must reserve not less than 20 percent of its allocation to address learning loss through the evidence-based interventions, including summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs; such programs must attend to students' academic, social, and emotional needs and address the pandemic's disproportionate impact on historically underserved student groups. Subrecipients are strongly encouraged to consult PDE's Evidence Resource Center—a customized website, designed by Pennsylvania educators and some of the nation's foremost education scholars—in evaluating the efficacy of learning loss initiatives.

The remaining 80 percent of a subrecipient's allocation can be used for a broad array of programs, including maintaining school staff and providing professional training; extending the school day or year; making technology purchases; providing mental health supports; and undertaking priority school facility repairs and improvements.

For a full list of allowable expenditures, see Section 2001(e) of the ARP.

For a comparison of allowable expenditures across ESSER I, ESSER II, and ARP ESSER, see the U.S. Department of Education's ARP ESSER Fact Sheet.

Must a subrecipient reserve a portion of its ARP ESSER allocation to support equitable services for local nonpublic schools?

No. Like ESSER II, the ARP (section 2002) includes a separate program to provide emergency aid to nonpublic schools.