Smith-Wade-El: $1.8 million in state grants awarded to Lancaster SD

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, today announced that the Lancaster School District has been awarded more than $1.83 million in grant funding though the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate in schools.

“As the son of an educator and as someone who struggled in school when young, I know from personal experience how important it is that kids have a safe and supportive environment in which to learn,” Smith-Wade-El said. “If they don’t have it, their chances of success are greatly dimmed.  This critical funding will help the Lancaster School District ensure that students in its schools can focus on learning and gaining the skills and confidence they need to thrive for years to come.”

Through the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant, high-need local education agencies can use the funding to promote the social, emotional, physical, and mental well-being of students and staff; address family and community engagement; and promote equitable and inclusive policies and practices.

A high-need LEA is defined as a school district or charter school that received ESEA Title IV, Part A funding in fiscal year 2022 and meets one or more of the following "high-need" criteria: a high rate of poverty, a lack of mental health supports available to students, high rates of violence and/or traumatic incidents in the school or community, and high rates of school exclusion.

“I am very happy that the Shapiro administration has made this critical investment in the Lancaster School District and its students,” Smith-Wade-El said. “The seeds of Pennsylvania’s future growth and stability are being sown now in schools across the commonwealth.”