FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief Communications Officer
717.506.2450 ext. 3315
Thursday, April 16, 2020 [Mechanicsburg, PA] – The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is asking Governor Wolf to expedite funds made accessible to school districts through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
On April 14, the U.S. Department of Education made $104 million available to Pennsylvania as part of the nearly $3 billion allocated to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund authorized under the CARES Act. These funds are a lifeline to public schools, which are presently experiencing increased costs because of the demand to ensure that students can access meaningful learning opportunities via virtual and other remote means. Overnight, public schools have changed the manner in which they deliver education to the students of Pennsylvania. For the good of Pennsylvania’s public school students these funds should be distributed quickly and efficiently to their school districts so these programs can continue to sustain and evolve in support of student needs.
Public education is facing a host of challenges that are unparalleled in scope and that have required creativity and perseverance, as such PSBA is asking the administration to quickly access these funds utilizing the student-based basic education funding formula. This could provide a start to distribution of funds to those districts with the greatest need. We are asking that the funds go directly to the districts rather than being funneled through intermediaries, which could result in prolonged timeframes and unnecessary administrative costs. The language of the CARES Act is clear that these funds are granted to governors, for award directly by governors as they deem necessary to support activities determined by governors to be most necessary and urgent. “The CARES Act clearly intends that distribution of this component of emergency relief is intended to be rapid and direct,” said Nathan G. Mains, PSBA CEO. “Districts have risen to the challenge of this crisis without regard to expenses. Equally swift action is required in getting the funds from this important grant to the districts,” Mains added. PSBA will continue to work collaboratively with the administration in purposeful efforts that support districts in the delivery of high-quality public education to Pennsylvania’s students.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA now in its 125th year was the first school boards association established in the United States.