Sainato: District schools slated to receive nearly $32 million to keep students learning during pandemic

NEW CASTLE, March 30 – School districts in the 9th Legislative District are expected to receive approximately $31.7 million in federal funding to ensure programs, services and safety measures are in place as more students return to the classroom, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today.

Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding will help schools address a broad range of needs, from educational and building supplies to special programs that will counter learning loss and progress gaps resulting from the pandemic.

“The pandemic created a slew of challenges for school districts, including how to keep kids engaged during a confusing and disruptive period and how to ensure a safe learning environment. As more of the school community becomes vaccinated and we see a full return to classroom instruction, districts will be focused on bringing students back up to speed and ensuring supports are in place for those who may have fallen behind. Securing this funding is going to help make that happen.”

Sainato said allocations to school districts are as follows:

  • Laurel School District - $1.4 million.
  • Mohawk Area School District - $2.5 million.
  • Neshannock Township School District – $1 million.
  • New Castle Area School District - $18.1 million.
  • Shenango Area School District - $2.9 million.
  • Union Area School District - $1.8 million.
  • Wilmington Area School District - $4 million.

Sainato said the funding is part of nearly $5 billion in federal relief under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. At least 90 percent, or $4.5 billion, will go to traditional public school districts and charter schools. Each entity will receive an amount proportional to the federal Title I-A funds received in 2020 under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

School districts and charter schools must use at least 20 percent of the money to address learning loss and the social, emotional, and academic needs of underrepresented students, including students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.

Schools can use the rest of the funding for a wide range of activities, including food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; and mental health supports.

More information about the funding is available