HARRISBURG – Local schools can soon apply to receive additional grant funding to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and school employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).
A total of nearly $200 million of funding was approved by lawmakers in May as part of Act 30 of 2020 to help schools meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. In June, $150 million of this funding was distributed to school districts and other education entities through the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency School Health and Safety Grant program.
“School safety has been a huge priority for the General Assembly and this funding will help ensure that our students, faculty and staff remain safe,” said Mastriano. “Children are our most precious commodity. Protecting our young people and teachers is an ongoing priority that I will never stop fighting for in Harrisburg.”
School districts must apply to receive their share of the remaining $49.8 million in funding to meet new educational and safety needs during COVID-19 through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. Grant applications are expected to be available in the days ahead and can be submitted on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Egrants website.
Eligible uses of the funding include:
- the purchase of cleaning and sanitizing products, as well as equipment purchases;
- training and professional development of staff on sanitation and infection prevention;
- modifying school facilities to support appropriate social distancing of students and staff;
- mental health services and supports;
- educational technology for distance learning; and
- other health and safety programs, items or services.
The program is funded through Pennsylvania’s share of money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. More information on the grants is available on the School Safety and Security Committee’s website.