Merski, Harkins: More than $44,500 in targeted funding will help underperforming students

ERIE, Aug. 26 – A grant of $44,583 will help bring targeted assistance to schools with underperforming students, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding awarded under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund will go to Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5, the educational service agency serving Erie, Crawford and Warren counties.

“As the new school year begins, we like to think every student will be starting from the same place, with the same opportunities,” Merski said. “Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Many traditionally underserved schools – including some here in Erie – have student groups that underperform, and that issue is only compounded by the pandemic.

“Just as we have worked to keep all students safe during COVID-19, it’s incumbent on us to ensure that all students have the same opportunities to thrive and advance. The targeted support this funding will provide is a great step in the right direction.”

Harkins said, “Successful businesses and industries need a diverse, talented pool of workers to survive, and that can’t happen when significant numbers of students fall behind. This funding is going to help ensure students identified as underperforming have the support they need to flourish. Ultimately, they are our next-generation workforce, and an investment in them is an investment in the state’s future.”

The funding is part of a package of approximately $17 million to help 220 local education agencies, including school districts, to improve educational services for approximately 180,000 students at schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

The act requires Pennsylvania and other states to develop plans to assist students based on a variety of factors, including attendance, English language learners, and students with disabilities.

More information about the funding is available here.