Harrisburg, PA - The Wolf Administration announced today that $13 million in federal funds is being made available to 17 local education agencies (LEAs) across the state that have enrolled students displaced from Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, Irma, and the 2017 California wildfires.
“When last year’s record-breaking weather forced families to relocate to Pennsylvania, communities across the commonwealth responded,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Enrolling in our schools gave students from as far away as California and Puerto Rico, a sense of normalcy and a safe place to continue their education.”
In total, 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands were awarded almost $356 million in federal funds under the U.S. Department of Education’s Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students program. Funding was determined using Pennsylvania’s quarterly counts of displaced students, and the commonwealth is set to receive the fifth highest award.
“Last year’s storms caused an influx of new students in several districts throughout Pennsylvania,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “In most cases, those students and their families had very little time to prepare for evacuation and came without school supplies, academic records, or other resources. But our schools worked to minimize the disruption for students transitioning into the commonwealth’s communities.”
Fifteen school districts and two charter schools qualify for funding to provide an array of school services, such as services for students who may require special needs amenities, or translation services. Eligible schools must apply for funding from PDE.
School districts and charter schools eligible for funding include:
- Allentown School District
- School District of Philadelphia
- Reading School District
- School District of the City of York
- School District of Lancaster
- Lebanon School District
- Harrisburg School District
- Bethlehem Area School District
- Central Dauphin School District
- Chambersburg Area School District
- Erie School District
- I-Lead Charter School
- John B. Stetson Charter School
- Muhlenberg School District
- Parkland School District
- Scranton School District
- Wilkes-Barre Area School District
In response to the weather events in 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees to help schools meet the needs of the thousands of new Pennsylvania residents displaced by natural disasters.
Rivera noted the guide, created in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), helped educators and administrators navigate the services and resources available to them as they welcome new residents to their communities.
The School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees is available and has been distributed to local education agencies. The guide is available in both English and Spanish, and includes pamphlets that may be distributed to students and their parents. Additional resources and information can be found through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency and Recovery Resource Catalog.
In addition, Governor Wolf assembled a cross-agency response team to support communities from the state and regional level to assess needs and gaps, mobilize existing resources, advocate for additional assistance, remove barriers to accessing necessary services and supports, and create resources to support schools and communities in assisting students and families.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or email@example.com
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