$28 million to help PA higher education resume operations

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FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania speaks at a news conference at Pennsylvania Emergency Management Headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf is struggling to fight against a Republican revolt over his stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. Egged on by state GOP lawmakers, counties have threatened to defy his orders while at least a few business owners have reopened their doors despite his warnings. (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating $28 million to postsecondary education institutions and adult basic education providers to help them resume operations in the fall.

The funds will help implement public health and safety plans to keep students, faculty and staff safe and assist institutions in providing instruction during COVID-19.

The CARES Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds. The GEER funds can be used for schools to reopen safely under COVID-19, which may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Purchase of PPE
  • Hand sanitizer/cleaning products
  • Equipment or technology to take classes online
  • Installation of barriers or other protective device in building structures
  • Purchase of health apps to assist in contact tracing and monitoring of students

Distribution of funds is determined by both the shares of total enrollments by each postsecondary sector and the number of socio-economically disadvantaged students that are served by institutions. The full breakdown of funding can be found here.

Out of the total funds, $500,000 were set aside to provide relief for adult basic education providers.

“Students attending postsecondary institutions and participating in adult education programs are eager to return to class, and institutions have been planning for months for a safe return to instruction,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.”

The grant recipients will receive direct contact from the Pennsylvania Department of Education with eGrant application instructions.

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