WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes-Barre Area is one of 15 school districts and two charter schools statewide eligible for part of $13 million for enrolling students displaced by severe weather.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced the money can be used to offset costs from taking students displaced by four natural disasters in 2017: Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma, and California wildfires.
The eligible districts must apply for the money, which can be used to pay for compensation of staff, including teacher aides; curriculum material and classroom supplies; tutoring or similar mentoring/counseling services; and other education and support services.
Maria struck in September 2017,wreaking havoc first on Dominica and then throughout the eastern Caribbean. The damage on Puerto Rico — and the U.S. federal response to it — grabbed headlines for months. Harvey struck in August and hit southeast Texas, gaining the most notoriety for damage in the Houston area. Irma struck later in August, making landfall and causing extensive damage in Florida, estimated as high as $190 billion.
A media release from the state notes the money comes from almost $365 million in federal funds dispensed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced students program, distributed among 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Districts and other “Local Education Agencies” had to apply for the money. Scranton School District is the only other regional district eligible for some of the $13 million from the state.
Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Brian Costello was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish