Pittsburgh, Pa. − October 27, 2020 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today announced the award of $1,152,408 in funding for local school districts to deal with COVID-related needs.
The following schools in the 43rd Senatorial District will receive funds:
- Penn Hills SD – $113,923
- Pittsburgh SD – $738,155
- Riverview SD – $30,239
- Steel Valley SD – $44,680
- West Mifflin Area SD – $71,850
- Wilkinsburg Borough SD – $31,504
- Woodland Hills SD – $122,057
School districts can use the money for any of the following purposes:
- Purchasing of cleaning and sanitizing products that meet CDC or PA Department of Health criteria.
- Training and professional development of staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious disease.
- Purchasing of equipment, including PPE, thermometers, infrared cameras and other necessary cameras.
- Modification of existing areas to effectuate appropriate social distancing to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
- Providing mental health services and supports, including trauma-informed approaches for students impacted by COVID.
- Purchasing educational technology for distance learning to ensure continuity of education.
- Other health and safety programs, items or services necessary to address COVID.
“We’re dealing with the third wave of COVID-19 infections right now, and our school buildings are not immune. I know our local districts are prioritizing safety for students, faculty and staff and it was a priority for me to advocate for these funds which will help them in their safety efforts,” said Senator Costa. “In addition to the safety measures being implemented in our schools, I want to also encourage everyone to wear a mask when they are out in public and observe social distancing whenever possible. This virus is still very dangerous and we need to take mitigation seriously.”
In the CARES budget in May 2020, the General Assembly approved $200 million in funding for school entities COVID related costs. From that $200 million, $150 million was from the Commonwealth’s CARES distribution and the remaining $49.8 million was from ESSR. The $150 million from CARES funding was approved by the Committee in June and has already been distributed to school entities.
The remaining $49.8 million from ESSR funding has been on hold while the Pennsylvania Department of Education awaited approval for the use of the funds from the U.S. Department of Education. USDOE approved the use of the funds last week and as required by statute, the $49.8 million will be distributed to school districts based off their average daily membership.