McNeill announces over $240K for special needs instruction

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, today announced four area school districts received grants totaling $242,000 to heighten educational services for students with special needs who may be negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

“There’s no doubt these students are among the most vulnerable and deserve the same quality of education afforded to their peers,” said McNeill. “With this funding, action can be taken to ensure those with complex and special needs have the support and tools available so they can acclimate to the changes brought about by the pandemic.”

The following school districts received Governor’s Emergency Education Relief grants:

  • Bethlehem Area School District: $177,268
  • Catasauqua Area School District: $13,525
  • Salisbury Township School District: $28,553
  • Whitehall-Coplay School District: $23,423

Grant amounts were calculated using an allocation formula based on the number of students with complex special education needs within each local education agency.

McNeill explained the grants may be used to provide enhanced real-time instruction to bolster remote services and supports for students with complex needs; and provide services and support to students with disabilities who experienced a loss in skills and behavior and/or a lack of progress due to the mandatory school closures.

This funding comes from the $15 million in the commonwealth’s GEER fund and $5 million from the Department of Education’s federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The federal CARES Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of GEER funds.

Click here for a full list of grant recipients.