Merski, Harkins: More than $41.4 million to Erie schools to support continued learning during pandemic

ERIE, Jan. 15 – Area school districts will receive approximately $41.44 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding to four school districts and three charter schools will help ensure educators have the resources and supports needed to continue a quality, safe curriculum.

“Erie is fortunate to have incredibly dedicated school officials, teachers and support staff who are 100% dedicated to keeping quality instruction flowing at all levels K-12,” Merski said. “Throughout the pandemic, they have been working to keep the curricula engaging despite wrestling with tight budgets and strained resources. The funding announced today is going to put more resources into their hands to help them ensure students keep learning and thriving in a safe environment.”

Harkins said: “The pandemic has tested the limits of our public education system. This much-needed infusion of funding is going help our talented educators continue inspiring kids and our districts ensure that all the planning and protections are in place to keep them safe. I am encouraging districts to apply as soon as they are able.”

The lawmakers said districts will receive the following funding:

  • Erie City School District – $30 million.
  • Fort LeBoeuf School District – $1.7 million.
  • Millcreek Township School District – $4.6 million.
  • ERIE RISE Leadership Academy Charter School – $1 million.
  • Iroquois School District – $1.4 million.
  • Perseus House Charter School of Excellence – $1.3 million.
  • Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School – $1.16 million.

The funding is part of $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to K-12 school districts and charter schools affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts and charter schools may use ESSER funding for food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; and mental health supports.

To promote equity, efficiency, transparency and local flexibility, PDE will administer 100 percent of ESSER II funding through the Federal Title I, Part A formula which considers the number of low-income students served by school districts and charter schools. Each entity will receive an amount proportional to federal Title I, Part A funds received in the 2020 fiscal year under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Additional information about the funding is available