With the COVID-19 pandemic still a looming threat around the nation, schools are still working to figure out how they can reopen safely in the fall for in-person learning. To help, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating about $28 million to postsecondary institutions and adult basic education providers to assist in implementing public health and safety plans this fall.
In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 300 postsecondary institutions. According to Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the commonwealth’s postsecondary institutions and adult education programs. Postsecondary opportunities are key to a better life and the social and economic well-being of the state, and we must do everything we can to keep this pathway available for students.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds. The department determined how to distribute the funds based on both the shares of total enrollments by each postsecondary sector and the number of socio-economically disadvantaged students that are served by these students. The funding provided will be used to help keep students, faculty, and staff safe during this time as well as assist these institutions in meeting the challenges they will face during COVID-19. This may include, but is not limited to, buying protective equipment, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, equipment or technology for online classes, installation of barriers or protective devices in buildings, health apps for contract tracing, and more.
Speaking on the matter, Governor Wolf stated, “This funding will help these institutions, whether they choose to continue to provide remote instruction, return to in-person instruction, or employ a hybrid approach to meet the instructional needs of their students.”
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