Ciresi announces $255K in grants to assist local students with special needs

HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced significant grants to four local school districts to assist in providing education services for students with disabilities who may have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

More than $255,000 is being shared among the following four area school districts: Perkiomen Valley ($57,240); Pottsgrove ($26,332); Pottstown ($41,782); and Spring-Ford ($129,717).

“Students with special needs have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the changes we’ve all been forced to make because of it,” Ciresi said. “The comfort of routine has been shelved, and that can be especially distressful for young minds that require an extra degree of support. I am not only grateful for this funding, but I am hopeful it will go a long way to reestablishing a sense of structure for those facing additional challenges in this upcoming school year.”

The funding for the area school districts comes from a pot of approximately $20 million announced earlier this week from Gov. Tom Wolf to help hundreds of local education agencies across the state. It includes $15 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and $5 million from the Department of Education’s federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Among the ways the funding will provide support is by enhancing real-time instruction to bolster remote services and supports for students with complex needs, and lending services and support to students with disabilities who experienced a loss in skills and behavior due to mandatory school closures.

More information about this funding is available by contacting Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265.