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COVID-19 emergency relief awarded for local schools

School districts in the 122nd and 124th Legislative Districts will share more than $35.2 million in federal funding as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act recently passed by Congress, according to Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill).

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds are intended to support COVID-19 response efforts and may be spent on a wide range of allowable activities. The grant amounts are based on the Title I-A formula, which includes student enrollment.

“Our local school districts are doing the best they can to provide a quality education to students under very difficult circumstances,” Heffley said. “I want to thank Congressman Dan Meuser for working to secure this second round of federal funding, which will go a long way toward supporting those efforts.”

“I too want to express my sincere gratitude to Congressman Meuser for helping to spearhead this funding,” said Knowles. “The coronavirus pandemic has hit our school districts very hard and our students and faculty have felt the negative effect. One of my top priorities is to fully fund our schools. This money will be a big asset to our school districts in a wide range of areas.”

The local school districts and ESSER funding amounts are as follows:

Jim Thorpe Area - $1.75 million.

Lehighton Area - $2.49 million.

Palmerton Area - $1.18 million.

Panther Valley - $2.42 million.

Tamaqua Area - $1.9 million.

Weatherly Area - $538,207.

Other local schools received the following funding:

Northern Lehigh, $1,463,002

Northwestern Lehigh, $659,845

Pleasant Valley, $2,992,873.

“School districts should be aware that this funding is not recurring, and they need to plan their budgets accordingly as they continue to work through the considerable challenges presented by the pandemic,” added Heffley.

Pennsylvania’s share of the ESSER funding is approximately $2.22 billion. These grants are in addition to the $471 million that was released to schools last year through the federal CARES Act.