Merski, Harkins: More than $125,000 in funding to ensure all Erie students can access online, remote learning

ERIE, Aug. 7 – Erie schools are receiving $125,100 in grant funding to ensure all students have the tools they need to access online and remote learning programs, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding – administered by the state Department of Education through the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant program – includes the following grants:

  • Erie City School District – $45,000
  • Iroquois School District – $37,850
  • Perseus House Charter School of Excellence – $24,250
  • Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School – $18,000

“As the pandemic continues and many families remain reluctant to let their students to return to the classroom, remote learning is proving critical to keeping students engaged,” Harkins said.

“Unfortunately, it is only effective if students have the tools they need to access the curriculum. This funding is going to help make that happen by allowing our schools to purchase laptops, tablets, mobile hot spots and other resources for students needing them.”

Merski said, “Although online learning can’t provide the social and developmental benefits that come with an actual school environment, it’s the best possible resource we have right now to ensure our kids continue learning. But it’s critical that no student gets left behind because they can’t afford the technology and that means ensuring every student – regardless of household income – has the equipment and access they need to succeed. This funding is going to make that possible."

CEEG grants are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who have limited ability to participate.

The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets, and internet hot spots; or used toward providing instructional materials, such as paper lessons and coursework. 

Schools with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants.