American Rescue Plan Funding

Helping Our Students Heal, Recover and Emerge Stronger From the COVID-19 Pandemic

The School District of Philadelphia is projected to receive $1.1 billion in relief funding through September 2024 as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This unprecedented level of federal funding in our schools will help to address the many devastating effects of COVID-19 by allowing us to safely reopen schools for all students and equitably expand opportunities for students who need recovery assistance the most. Here’s a snapshot of our investment approach, and our initial investment plan, which reflects input from over 11,000 survey and focus group participants.

Our Investment Approach

  • Balanced – we will strive to maximize our short-term pandemic response while achieving long-term, sustainable benefits for our students.
  • Evidence Based – we will thoughtfully invest in evidence-based approaches that support student achievement.
  • Collaborative – we will regularly seek and reflect input from the staff, students, families and communities we serve.
  • Active and Ongoing – we will regularly revisit our plan over the next four years and refine our strategies based on what’s working, what’s not and continued public feedback.
  • Fiscally Responsible – we will invest in a manner that supports long-term fiscal stability and sustainability.

Learn more about the District’s budget and ESSER investment plan here: FY2021-2022 Five-Year Plan and Lump Sum Presentation

Our Initial Investment Plan: Four Focus Areas

Focus Area 1:

Support Educational Recovery
and Accelerate Learning

$350 M

  • Improve and expand summer learning programs, after-school and before-care/school programs, tutoring and other interventions.
  • Rewrite and deliver a more culturally and linguistically relevant curriculum and selection of aligned resources.
  • Expand Career Immersion opportunities for students.

Focus Area 2:

Dramatically Expand Facilities Improvements to Provide Safe, Healthy and Modernized Schools

$325 M

  • Accelerate asbestos removal, Lead Safe Certifications and other improvements while creating 21st-century learning environments.
  • Supplement previously dedicated capital and donated funds, for a $2 billion total planned capital investment over the next six years.

Focus Area 3:

Support the Significant Social and Emotional Needs of Our Students

$150 M

  • More social services to provide case management, resource coordination, home visits, and family involvement supports at 50 additional schools.
  • More counselors to reduce the projected student-counselor ratio from 371:1 in FY21 to 357:1 in FY22.
  • More discretionary funds for schools, prioritizing schools serving students with the greatest needs.
  • Professional development for climate support staff.

Focus Area 4:

More Supports in Schools to Help All Learners and Educators Succeed

  • English Language Learner Supports – new bilingual counselor assistants and expanded 3-way translation services.
  • Special Education Resources – add 50 psychologists, 10 occupational therapists and 20 speech therapists in the short-term to accelerate student evaluations, and pursue a long-term, system-wide redesign.
  • School-Level Discretionary Positions – two additional positions at each designated off-track school and one additional position at each on-track/near-track school for FY22.
  • Leveling – no leveling down for all schools in FY22, and for all off-track schools in FY23 and FY24.
  • Addressing Impacts of Gun Violence – more resources for schools in communities most impacted by gun violence, such as: preventive programming and conflict resolution supports; mental health/trauma services; behavioral health counselors; a support coordinator; and restorative practices coaches.
  • 1:1 Technology – centralized investments to maintain a 1:1 device ratio for students, and provide additional technology support for students and families.
  • Teacher Reimbursements – doubling the amount of reimbursements for teacher-purchased classroom materials for FY22.