PITTSBURGH -- The Pennsylvania Department of Education will receive more than $520 million in federal funding to help school districts like the North Hills School District respond to challenges triggered by COVID-19.
The grant money is the state's share of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and North Hills, according to the state, is entitled to $313,000.
The money will free up funding and allow NHSD to maintain current class sizes without needing to utilize the temporary, one-year override of the class size policy proposed as part of the 2020-21 budget, among other things.
"This federal funding is a welcomed reprieve that will allow us to address some of the financial challenges we’re facing as a result of COVID-19,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino. “First and foremost, this will allow us to hire in some areas where we otherwise would not have been able to."
"This comes as a great relief to the board, who supports small class size," Board of Education President Allison Mathis added. “While I know that many people were upset about the proposed class size override I think it is important to be transparent and communicate clearly with the public, even when it is difficult. This is an extremely difficult budgeting year and this grant provides some much needed relief for our district and community."
NHSD must submit its application to the state to receive the funding but anticipates to begin receiving the monies in monthly increments in June.