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July 1, 2021

Dear Colleague, 

Pennsylvania's draft American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Plan is now available for review and public comment. Feedback may be submitted via an online form accessible on PDE's website starting today and through July 7, 2021. 

Pennsylvania's total ARP ESSER state allocation is approximately $4.5 billion. Under the ARP ESSER funding structure, states received two-thirds of their total allocation in April, with the remaining third contingent on submission and federal approval of state-level plans such as the one we just posted. 

Our draft plan builds on guidance that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) issued last month; underscores Pennsylvania's commitment to leveraging ARP ESSER funds to address the disproportionate impact of the crises of the past year on historically underserved students and communities; and establishes a framework for how education entities will use this non-recurring federal emergency aid as appropriated by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the 2021-22 Enacted State Budget. 

I want to thank the General Assembly for partnering with PDE to develop a set of formulae to administer ARP ESSER funds efficiently and equitably across our education system where it will be used for a range of needs, including addressing the educational harms students experienced during the pandemic; investing in social, emotional, and mental health services that are a prerequisite for both student learning and community recovery; and supporting education professionals and staff who have persevered so courageously during this unprecedented time.

Our work and your voice go hand in hand. My team and I look forward to receiving your feedback.