HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – In an effort to protect students in the classroom, state Rep. Bryan Barbin announced today that nearly $220,000 in state safety grants will be dispersed to area school districts. As part of Pennsylvania’s Safe Schools Initiative , the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved School Police/Resource Officer Grants , which go towards training and paying police and resource officers, along with Equipment Grants , which helps pay for security-related supplies, for five local districts. “This money will assist our schools in not only protecting but preparing for worst case scenarios,” Barbin said. “At the end of the day, the safety of our children is what matters most and these grants will help ensure their safety.” Here’s a breakdown of who is receiving what: Greater Johnstown Area School District – awarded a $60,000 School Police/Resource Officer Grant; Forest Hills School District – awarded a $60,000 School Police/Resource Officer Grant; Richland School District – awarded a $30,000 School Police/Resource Officer Grant and an Equipment Grant for $18,629; Ferndale Area School District – awarded a $20,000 Equipment Grant; and Windber Area School District – awarded a $30,000 School Police/Resource Officer Grant. ### Read more
PENN HILLS, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, is praising the approval of tens of thousands of dollars in state safety funds for two local school districts. The state Department of Education awarded Plum Borough School District a $60,000 Police/Resource Officer grant to help pay and train school resource and police officers. Penn Hills School District received a $20,000 Safe Schools Equipment grant to go towards buying the proper resources to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. “School should be a place where parents send their kids and not have to worry about their safety,” DeLuca said. “Unfortunately, with the world we live in today, that’s not always the case. From violent fights to shootings, security plans need to be in place. This money will go towards helping these districts be prepared for any type of situation and better protect their students.” The purpose of the Safe Schools Initiative Targeted Grants is to assist schools by providing funding for programs under their comprehensive safe school plans, which includes the planning and implementation of activities that prevent or reduce violence in the classroom. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – The state Department of Education has notified state Rep. Rob Matzie that $130,000 in grants for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers will be awarded to the Central Valley, Quaker Valley and Ambridge school districts. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said Central Valley is getting $60,000, Quaker Valley will receive $40,000 and Ambridge Area is slated for $30,000. Matzie said official notices are expected to be sent to all three school districts today. “Nothing is more important than the well-being of our children, especially when they are at school,” Matzie said. “As lawmakers, our goal should be to help in any way to create a safe environment of learning for students. The grants will help these districts work toward and achieve that goal.” The money is coming from the Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer Grant program. Applicants are eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Local police agencies and municipalities can apply and receive a grant but they must have prior consent of the governing board of the school to place school resource officers on the school’s premises. Read more
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, announced today that the Wilkes-Barre Area School District was awarded a Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the amount of $40,000. Read more
HERMITAGE, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that West Middlesex Area School District has been awarded a $23,602 Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer grant from the Education Department. "It's important for our schools to be safe places for students where they can learn and grow," Longietti said. "This grant will help West Middlesex create a safe environment for students." The grant is for two years and is intended to be used for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers. Read more
MT. LEBANON, Nov. 17– The state Department of Education has notified state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, that $100,000 in grants for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers will be awarded to the Baldwin-Whitehall and Keystone Oaks school districts. Miller said Baldwin-Whitehall is getting $60,000, while $40,000 is going to Keystone Oaks. Miller said official notice is expected to be sent to the school districts today. “Programs like this, which further ensure the safety of our students, have my full support,” Miller said. “I thank the Department of Education for this valuable funding, because having a safe and secure learning environment for all students is a necessity.” The money is coming from the Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer Grant program. Applicants are eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Local police agencies and municipalities can apply and receive a grant but they must have prior consent of the governing board of the school to place school resource officers on the school’s premises. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – State Reps. Perry Warren and John Galloway, both D-Bucks, announced the approval of a Safe Schools Program grant to address school safety and violence within the Pennsbury School District. “Congratulations to Pennsbury School District on their grant award,” Warren said. “These funds will go a long way in keeping students safe from violence, which has grown into a priority given the epidemic of gun and school violence across the country. My goal as a representative is to support wise investments of public dollars and ensure that students can go to school ready to learn. This award helps accomplish both tasks.” The Department of Education awarded Pennsbury School District $19,994 to support the following areas: Conflict resolution or dispute management; Positive behavior support; Risk assessment or violence prevention curricula; Classroom management; Development of Student Codes of Conduct; Training to undertake a district-wide assessment of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students; Development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs addressing risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students including, but not limited to bullying; De-escalation and behavior interventions; and Comprehensive, district-wide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans, Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced that five area school districts in the 55 th Legislative District will benefit from state grant funding related to keeping schools safe. "These grants are designed to help our school districts ensure their students' learning environment is safe and secure," Petrarca said. "After all, students learn better when do not have to worry about their safety and well-being." The Department of Education has awarded the following Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer grants to: Greater Latrobe School District -- $59,999 Allegheny Township Police Department on behalf of the Kiski Area School District -- $60,000 Apollo-Ridge School District -- $57,335 Lenape Technical School -- $31,825. These grants are for two years and are intended to be used for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers. The department also awarded a Safe Schools Equipment grant to the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit for $19,877. This grant funding is to help schools in reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and creating a safe physical environment. Read more
YARDLEY, Nov. 17 – On behalf of residents of nearby neighborhoods, state Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, requested that contractors cease noise-intensive work on the Scudder Falls Bridge replacement project by 8 p.m. each evening. Warren sent the letter of request to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today. “Many residents who live in neighborhoods close to the construction site have early morning commutes to the New York metro area,” he wrote in the letter. “Also, Pennsbury High School buses pick up its students in these neighborhoods as early as 6:30 a.m. I realize that construction on this much-needed project needs to be completed, and I do not wish to impede on its progress. However, the intense noise to as late as 11 p.m. is disrupting the lives of our residents. Limiting construction work after 8 p.m. to quieter activities should allow the project to continue on schedule while affording some quiet to our residents. Warren said he looks forward to action on the request and that he’ll keep constituents updated on developments. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio will hold her Annual Holiday Open House from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 in her district office, 6511 Ridge Avenue. Constituents of the 194 th Legislative District will be treated to light refreshments and comradery with staff, neighbors and friends. “ Our open houses are lively and fun, with neighbors and friends coming in and checking out what the legislature is doing in Harrisburg and making sure I know what they think of our policy priorities,” she said. “It is also an opportunity to ask questions and interact with me and staff, who can share information on state services and how we can best assist you. “You also will have the opportunity to find out if the Pennsylvania Treasury has any unclaimed property for you, enter a drawing for a day of shadowing me in Harrisburg, and post a favorite location in the 194th Legislative District on the ‘brag wall.’” This year, sweets will be made by students in the culinary arts program at Mercy Career & Technical High School located at 29 th and Allegheny. “We enjoy taking this opportunity to showcase the culinary arts talents of students attending school in the 194 th ,” DeLissio said. Although not necessary, DeLissio said it would be helpful for attendees planning to attend to RSVP to her office. To RSVP or obtain more information, constituents can call DeLissio’s office at Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – The Greater Nanticoke Area School District was awarded a $19,300 Safe Schools Equipment Grant by the state Department of Education, according to state Rep. Gerald Mullery. Read more
EBENSBURG, Nov. 17 – The state Department of Education has notified state Rep. Frank Burns, D- Cambria, that $100,000 in grants for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers will assist the Forest Hills and Central Cambria school districts. Burns said $60,000 is being awarded to the Adams Township Police Department, on behalf of the Forest Hills School District, while $40,000 is headed to the Central Cambria School District. Burns said the official notifications are expected to be sent today. “These state grants will help make schools safer, while providing a cost savings to local taxpayers,” Burns said. “I thank the Department of Education for these awards, and congratulate the recipients.” The money is coming from the Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer Grant program. Applicants are eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for a School Resource Officer and $40,000 for a School Police Officer and the maximum amount per individual targeted grant is $20,000. Local police agencies and municipalities can apply and receive a grant but they must have prior consent of the governing board of the school to place school resource officers on the school’s premises. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today outlined his recommendations to Philadelphia City Council on how to replace the School Reform Commission in anticipation of its hearing on the matter later this month. "I have been discussing the new school board with my colleagues in the legislature's Philadelphia delegation and City Council. I have recommended that, whatever eligibility requirements are proposed for nominees to the new school board, along with whatever explicit backgrounds City Council seeks to acknowledge and honor in terms of an inclusive board constituency, the city should create a web portal where the public can see how many and what proportion of people from various stakeholder communities -- geography, age, gender, ethnicity, types of expertise, etc. -- have sought to be considered for nomination," Rabb said. Rabb said the online portal should provide real-time, aggregated statistics on the raw number and percentages of total nomination applicants from the time nominations are accepted up until the deadline. Rabb said this "glass pipeline" approach would have four benefits: It would ensure a high level of transparency for the public to see who throughout this process is over-represented and who is under-represented; It would extend accountability to both the nominating body and the general public by letting everyone see how well or how poorly each officially designated stakeholder community is Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – State Reps. Jordan Harris and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., on behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today hosted a joint policy committee hearing and tour with the House Democratic Policy Committee, various stakeholders, and incarcerated women. The tour and policy hearing was held at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy. This is the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ and House Democratic Policy Committee’s first tour and policy hearing at a state prison facility. Advocacy and community-based organizations joined state legislators to discuss policy initiatives aimed at reducing incarceration rates, ending the school-to-prison pipeline for young girls, and improving conditions for incarcerated women. Panelists for the policy hearing included: Chloe Bohm, House Democratic Appropriations Committee, budget analyst; Joanna Visser Adjoian, Esq., Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, co-founder and co-director; John Hargreaves, Pennsylvania Prison Society, director of volunteers; Melissa Robbins, Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Women, delegate; Sameerah Shabazz, Ardella’s House, director of policy and advocacy; Farida E. Boyer, MS, Family Centered Outpatient Therapeutic Services, CEO; Peggy Sims, Sisters Returning Home, founder and executive director; and Rev. Michelle Anne Simmons, Why Not Prosper, founder and CEO. Cephas, chairwoman of the PLBC Subcommittee on Read more
State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, will hold a citation presentation to honor Lorynn Watt, a 17-year-old Stroudsburg senior, at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Evergreen Community Charter School, Grace Avenue, Cresco. Madden is recognizing Watt with a Pennsylvania House of Representatives citation as a diabetes awareness advocate. Madden is hoping to create a bipartisan committee to continue supporting the lifesaving funding that helps prevent advanced complications and also supports research for a cure. Watt, who was diagnosed as having diabetes Type 1 as a 9-year-old, experienced her father passing away from complications relating to the disease. Watt has organized and participated in numerous fundraisers that have resulted in the collection of tens of thousands of dollars for diabetes awareness. Media coverage is invited. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 -- Two weeks after Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called for the School Reform Commission to disband itself, state Reps. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., and Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, joined fellow members of the Philadelphia Delegation to defend the decision. Ahead of a scheduled SRC meeting, the state lawmakers held a news conference Thursday afternoon inside the library of the Philip Sheridan Elementary School. “The commission had more than a decade to fix the issues within the School District of Philadelphia, but it seems things have just gotten worse,” Cruz said. “I have been fighting to dissolve the SRC for the past three years to bring control of our schools back to the city that depends on its success and the taxpayers who help fund them.” Cruz introduced House Bill 654 in January, which would eliminate the SRC and establish an elected board to oversee operations of the city’s school district. He’s been pushing for this cause since 2014. Donatucci, chairwoman of the Philadelphia County Delegation, said, “At the end of the day, the students are our top priority. The success of this country starts in the classroom, and that includes the young, bright minds that make up the School District of Philadelphia. I support what’s best for them, and what’s best for them is a local school board that has their best interests at heart calling the shots.” During today's SRC meeting, the Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Ed Gainey and Sen. Jay Costa, both D-Allegheny, announced the approval of a grant to help fund renovations for the Whitney Park project in the Borough of Wilkinsburg. The Commonwealth Financing Authority gave the green light for $225,000 to go towards improving the entrance to the park and the playground. The first phase includes: Three new playground areas; Resurfacing the existing park areas and access drive; Replacing cracked concrete sidewalks; and Providing ADA accessible parking and routes. The project will also involve new walkways with decorative paving to create a plaza with seating and a rain garden next to the playground to help collect storm water from the parking lot. “I commend the Commonwealth Financing Authority for making a great investment in a community asset,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa. “The improvements in access to the park were especially encouraging in this grant application, and I’m glad I could help Wilkinsburg get this project rolling.” “This project is vital in reminding our community that we care,” Gainey said. “We all should take pride in where we live. This is a great example of taxpayer dollars going towards improving their own neighborhood.” The total project cost is $365,200. The grant is funded through CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. ### Read more
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, announced a $100,000 state grant was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority to help fund the next phase of improvements to Lions Park in Wilkins Township. “This is exactly the type of project our state dollars should be used for,” Costa said. “It’s crucial to keep our parks updated because it gives residents a place to frequent and entice others to join our neighborhood. I’ve always been a proponent of keeping the community growing and these improvements go towards that goal.” Phase two of the construction project involves a playground expansion, which includes new play equipment, a deck hockey rink, a dog park, a volleyball court, a horseshoe pit, and a paved walking trail. The total project cost is $366,115. The grant is funded through CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. The Commonwealth Financing Authority administers and finances economic development projects and is an independent agency created by the legislature. The agency oversees the state’s Building PA, Business in Our Sites, PennWorks, New PA Venture, Capitol Investment, New Pennsylvania VENTURE Guarantee, Tax Increment Financing Guarantee, Second Stage Loan and other programs. These programs are aimed at using targeted state investments for economic development in all regions of the state. To find out more about CFA programs, visit www.newpa.com . ### Read more
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, is applauding the approval of a state grant to help pay for street and safety improvements in Swissvale and Edgewood boroughs. The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved $233,779 to go toward the third phase of the streetscape improvement project in Swissvale's business district along Noble Street, which includes installing 18 decorative street lamps and 18 trees. The money will also focus on the Regent Square area, which connects the two boroughs. This portion of the project will involve: Installing approximately 240 square feet of stamped and dyed concrete crosswalks; Two bump-outs on South Braddock Avenue; Four disability-accessible ramps; and One solar-powered rectangular rapid flashing beacon system. “This project began in 2014 and it’s great to see state funding being granted to reach the final product,” Costa said. “This project not only makes the community look in tiptop condition, but also echoes my priority of providing a safe place for our residents to live.” The total project cost is $351,255. ### Read more
BRISTOL, Nov. 15 – Bristol Township was awarded a $240,000 state Department of Community and Economic Development grant to develop a 3-acre park at 500 Cedar Ave., according to state Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks. The grant comes from the state Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program and will be used to transform land containing an abandoned trailer park into a passive recreational park. Bristol Township will also contribute additional funding for the project. The grant will be used for site improvements including demolition, soil preparation, landscaping, trails, benches, handicapped-accessible ramps and ornamental fencing, Davis said. “Any time the opportunity exists for a community to take a dilapidated eyesore and turn it into a beautiful park and a model of conservation, we must work together to seize it,” Davis said. “I’m proud to have worked alongside Sen. Tomlinson to do just that. This project will increase the quality of life in Bristol Township, and I look forward to the outcome.” State Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, R-Bucks, said, “This is a great opportunity to transform an abandoned property into an area that residents can use for a variety of recreational purposes. I’m pleased that Bristol Township has been proactive in seeking funding for this upgrade, which will provide more open space, contribute to a better quality of life, and make excellent use of the current land.” Construction will begin in July and is Read more
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