Merski, Harkins: Nearly $300,000 in funding to help Erie career and technical education resume safely

ERIE, Aug. 6 – Erie High School and Erie County Technical School are on track to receive $298,920 in federal funding to help both schools resume instruction while keeping students and staff safe, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The funding – including $182,819 to Erie High School and $116,101 to Erie County Technical School – comes from the CARES Act, which authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds.

“Knowing this funding is on the way will give peace of mind to students and their families,” Harkins said. “I have received many calls from worried parents wanting to know if steps are being taken to ensure that their students will be safe. Thanks to this funding, the schools will be able to implement plans they have developed to ensure the safest possible environments.”

Merski said, “The funding is coming at a critical time for our many students who are on paths to high-tech careers and the many employers who depend on a well-trained, talented pool of applicants. These grants will allow our students to resume learning in safe surroundings as they hone their skills for the modern workforce.”

The funds may be used for a variety of resources, including protective equipment, hand sanitizer and cleaning products, equipment or technology to take classrooms online; installation of barriers or other protective devices in building structures, and the purchase health apps to assist in contact tracing and monitoring of students.
The funding is part of a $10.2 million package allocated to career and technical schools throughout the state. Schools’ money has been allocated by the governor, and schools will be able to access the funds in the next week.

Grants were calculated based on the allocation formula for federal Perkins CTC grants, which takes into account the population of students ages 5-17 and the percent of poverty within the same age group. In addition, the formula includes a factor to account for a local education agency’s overall student enrollment in career and technical education programs.

A complete list of the funding statewide is available