HARRISBURG – The Lebanon School District has been awarded $1,150,618 in federal funds as part of the Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students program, Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) announced today.
The primary goal of this targeted program is to offer financial assistance to local education agencies which are now serving children and youth displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, or the 2017 California wildfires.
“This initiative grew out of a discussion I was having with Laura LeBeau on WLBR talk radio one day about how our schools would be able to accept students who were moving to our area after being displaced by natural disasters in other areas of the country,” Ryan said. “Laura told me that Dr. Arthur Abrom, Lebanon School District superintendent, had been on her program explaining how a significant number of new students were arriving in Lebanon schools after they were displaced my hurricanes Maria and Irma. The financial burden of providing for this unplanned arrival of a significant number of new students was straining school resources.”
Ryan initially approached House Speaker Mike Turzai and House Appropriations Committee chairman Stan Saylor to determine if this was a challenge for other school districts around the state, and if so, what could be done about it. On further reflection, Ryan reasoned that if the children were displaced by an event that has been declared a federal disaster, could disaster relief funds be used to help them?
Alerted to the issue by Ryan, Congressman Charlie Dent and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey jumped in and made it happen.
“We are grateful to Representative Ryan for spearheading the effort to secure the Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for the Lebanon School District. These funds will go a long way in helping our students who were displaced by last year’s hurricanes,” Abrom said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) was awarded a total of $13 million in federal dollars for the Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students program. Of those funds, $1,150,618 will go to Lebanon School District.
Other school districts experiencing this challenge still have time to apply for these funds, but they will be exhausted by the end of December 2018. Applications for the funds must be received by the PDE by noon on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.
“This shows how government can work when schools, local officials, state officials and federal officials work together to solve an issue,” Ryan said. “Federalism, as the Founders designed and envisioned it, does work. I also want to thank Speaker Turzai and Chairman Saylor for giving me the latitude needed to get this done.”
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner