McNeill calls on schools to apply for funding

WHITEHALL, May 7 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, is encouraging area school districts to consider applying for funds to assist them in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Education submitted an application to the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Once the state’s application is approved, school districts will need to apply for the funding.

“These are valuable dollars that will aid the effort to ensure our children are able to continue learning and growing,” McNeill said. “We’ve already seen the extraordinary work our schools have done during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and I encourage district leaders apply for the anticipated funding outlined below.”

McNeill said area school districts are anticipated to receive the following amounts of funding:

  • Bethlehem Area School District: $3,218,394
  • Catasauqua Area School District: $511,707
  • Salisbury Township: $183,244
  • Whitehall-Coplay School District: $814,494

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to approve the application within a week and is working on a streamlined application process to ensure the funds can be available to school districts as quickly as possible.

The funding may be used for a wide range of purposes, including food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; and mental health supports. Funds must be used by September 2022. Applying school entities are encouraged to prioritize investments for vulnerable students and families, including those living in the deepest poverty, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness and children in foster care.

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