Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds
In 2020 and 2021, the Federal government passed three stimulus bills which provided nearly $190.5 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Funding was allocated to each state based on the same formula used under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title-IA funding allocation.
An overview of the relief funding allocated to Upper St. Clair School District is below:
ESSER I Funds
As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress established and appropriated a total of $13.2 billion for the ESSER Fund. ESSER funds were intended to support COVID-19 response efforts and to be spent on a range of allowable expenditures. In May 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education received approval of its ESSER fund application to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to obtain $523.8 million in emergency, one-time funds to help schools respond to COVID-19 impacts.
ESSER II Funds
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) was enacted on December 27, 2020 and included an additional $53.4 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund). ESSER II funding was awarded to states based on the proportion of funding each state received under Part A of Title I of the ESEA Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020. Pennsylvania’s ESSER II allocation is $2.22 billion.
ARP ESSER (ESSER III)
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 provided Pennsylvania with $5 billion in emergency funding to support the long-term work of education recovery. Under the ARP Act, at least 90%, or $4.5 billion, of the fund will flow to eligible public-school districts and charter schools.
ESSER State Set Aside
The ARP Act allocated 90% of Pennsylvania's allocations directly to school districts and charter schools. The General Assembly and Governor Wolf determined usage for the remaining 10% of the total state allocation through Act 24 of 2021. In addition to $14 million reserved for PDE to administer and implement ARP ESSER, about $485 million was allocated to public school districts in four required set-asides: learning loss, summer enrichment, afterschool programs, and support for other LEAs.
The charts below detail each grant allocation and the Upper St. Clair School District intended use of the relief funding.