Local Schools Get Federal Funding as Pandemic Continues

State Rep. Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna, has announced that more than $46 million in federal funding will be received by school districts within the 112th District to aid in returning students safely to the classroom. Dunmore School District is scheduled to receive $3.24 million.

“It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic pulled students out of the classroom and into virtual learning programs. My heart breaks for our students who missed out on so many educational, social and extracurricular experiences and memories,” Mullins said. “This support for area school districts will ensure that students are returning to safe, clean and positive learning environments, which should be a priority at all levels of government.”

The other school districts in the 112th Legislative District which will receive federal funding include Scranton School District, $35.76 million; Mid Valley School District, $4.08 million, and Valley View School District, $2.96 million.

These funds are part of the $4.9 billion awarded to Pennsylvania via the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden. These dollars can be used for food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; mental health support and more.

At least 20% of the funds must be used to address learning loss along with the social, emotional, and academic needs of underrepresented students. This shall include students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness or other hardships. 

School districts and charter schools must apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education to receive an apportioned share of the funds set aside for these purposes. Funds must be used by September 2024.

Dunmore School District Receives $100,000 in State Money

dunmore schoolState Rep. Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna, recently announced state grants totaling more than $260,000 are headed to three school districts in the area of Lackawanna County he represents.

Dunmore School District received $100,000, while Mid-Valley School District received $106,476 and Valley View received $59,665 from the School Safety and Security Grant Program. “It is critical that we do all we can to constantly improve school safety and security on a variety of fronts,” Mullins said. “With these grants, our school districts will be able to specifically address areas that can improve safety in their buildings. From training school officers to planning for emergency preparedness and purchasing security technology, these investments will help our students learn in safe environments.”

Mullins said the funding can be used for a variety of programs including schoolwide positive behavior support and counseling services among others.

The grant program is administered by the School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The committee, which was formed last year, works to establish criteria that schools use to assess safety and security. Current project funding includes $52.5 million for schools statewide.

A full list of approved school districts and more information about the committee can be found on the PCCD School Safety and Security webpage.

New State Representative Hosts First Public Hearing

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State Rep. Kyle Mullins hosted his first House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on state and local transportation issues at the Dunmore Community Center on Feb. 27.

Mullins was joined by state legislators from across the state including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“Improving our roads and public safety are paramount. Today’s discussion brought local and state officials together to discuss how working jointly to mend our roadways and bridges can give our economy a boost while making our community safer,” Mullins said.

Sturla added: “I agree with Representative Mullins that this is a public safety and economic issue. As we work to find transportation dollars to fund these projects, it’s important that we find efficiencies in government. Money earmarked for transportation projects should be used for just that.”

The committee heard testimony from Richard Roman, bureau director for Maintenance and Operations/interim District 4 executive, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; John Pocius, member of Coordinating Committee and Steve Pitoniak, chairman of Technical Committee, both from the Lackawanna/Luzerne Metropolitan Planning Organization; Bob Fiume, executive director, County of Lackawanna Transit System; Carl Beardsley, executive director, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport; Charlene Wagner Doyle, director of administration, Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority; and Thomas Calpin, business agent, Ironworkers Local 404.

The meeting is one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, health care access, quality schools and jobs training, and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.