Schools to Get More Funds

Every Student Succeeds Act passed Senate Wednesday

By Candy E. Price
Daily News Staff Writer

U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. has announced local school districts will likely receive increased funding as part of the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The act passed the House of Representatives last week and passed the Senate 85-12 Wednesday. The legislation is an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act.

“For those children who have a light inside them, but it’s not burning to the fullest extent of their potential, we’ve got to make sure they can reach their potential,” Casey said. “Education has to be a critical issue we continue to focus on in Washington.”

“This is a bipartisan effort and a significant achievement,” Casey said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “Every child is born with a light inside them. For some children, that light might have burned brighter than you could have hoped because of their circumstances.

With this bill, Casey said the level of education spending on Title I programs has been increased by more than $1 billion.

“School districts should see an increase in the support they receive for those who are most needy,” he said.

As part of the bill, the Juniata Valley School District will receive $85,000 between fiscal years 2017 and 2020.

The Huntingdon Area School District willreceive $ 213,000 over the same fouryear period and the Mount Union Area School District will receive $205,000. The Southern Huntingdon County School District will receive $89,000 and the Tussey Mountain School District will receive $166,000.

The Tyrone Area School District — which covers a small portion of northern Huntingdon County — would receive the most, at $226,000.

Casey added, as part of the bill, legislators are “able to create a new formula grant” in the Student Support Academic Enrichment grant, which will bring $53 million in funding to school districts in the state.

“These are new dollars that weren’t available to the state prior to this legislation,” Casey said.

“The funding will allow districts to have some flexibility that they don’t have right now.

Casey added the bill maintains the annual testing schedule, but changes the frequency in which tests are given and gives local school districts more flexibility over what is happening in the classrooms.

Upon its House passage, both local Congressmen Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA 5) and Bill Shuster (R-PA 9) supported the bill.

“The Every Student Succeeds Act will overhaul the contentious No Child Left Behind and place more control in the hands of states, local school districts, educators, parents and students across the nation,” Thompson said.

“This bill is about empowering parents and creating a better environment for our students by significantly reducing the federal government’s role in the classroom and turning over more authority to state and local governments,” Shuster said. “We needed to make changes to better allow our students to reach their full potential, and replacing No Child Left Behind with a more conservative approach will have lasting effects for the nation’s education system.”

Candy can be reached at cprice@huntingdondailynews.com.