Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.


The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Rescue Plan's Funds Can Help Students Catch Up


Thursday, May 20, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania schools will have some major federal help as they reopen their doors, and teachers want districts to use those dollars to focus on helping students catch up.

Over the next few years, schools in the Keystone State will have nearly $5 billion of federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to address disruptions to education caused by the pandemic. At least $1 billion is specifically targeted at intensifying support for students who need extra help to get back on track.

Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said teachers need to have a seat at the table as districts decide how those federal dollars will be used.

"Educators are the experts," Askey asserted. "And they know best what schools need to do to bridge those student learning gaps and to bolster their mental, social, and emotional well-being."

He suggested those efforts should include summer learning and after-school programs as well as upgrading learning technology.

Askey pointed out after more than a year of relative isolation, individual students may be at very different places emotionally and may require extra help as classroom instruction returns to normal.

"We're going to need more school counselors and school nurses, psychologists and social workers," Askey contended. "Those positions that will support the students in the area of social and emotional health."

He added focusing on mental health and emotional well-being is not only important for student health, it also helps boost academic performance.

Schools will need to upgrade ventilation systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, and they still need supplies of personal protective equipment. And Askey emphasized funds are needed to make sure every student has access to the learning tools they need.

"Purchasing educational technology including Wi-Fi hotspots and hardware such as laptops or tablets, and providing access to high-quality training for the staff," Askey outlined.

He noted school districts have a lot of flexibility in determining how to spend the American Rescue Plan funds, and have until Sep. 2024 to allocate the funding.

Disclosure: Pennsylvania State Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)


Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …

Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …

Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …


Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …


By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021