ECGRA responds to Rep. Harkins statement on funding for Erie School District

Local News

Lawmakers looking for funding to help the Erie School District, which is facing a $10 million deficit next school year.

This also after the Department of Education denies the district the $31 million requested in a recovery plan.

Representative Pat Harkins said Monday night, “We’re looking for money even from like the county ECGRA money. We’re looking for community foundation dollars. If we can show we have skin in the game, that’ll go long way to help in Harrisburg and with some our colleagues around the state who might not be as apt to join in with us.”

ECGRA’s executive director says they were designed to fund economic and community development projects.

Those include the $1.6 million in the last three years ECGRA has invested in youth and education programs to help give students skills and training to be more employable.

Perry Wood says they cannot support the district in ways other than those programs.

Wood said, “We’re really not set up to fund a school districts operations. We need the school district to focus on educating them and we’ll focus on the employability programs which are central to our mission.”

Both Representative Harkins and Wood at this point it’s in the hands of the state legislature.

Wood said, “We need our delegation to go back to Harrisburg and solve gaming legislation. We need them to solve the fair funding formula for the city school district.”

Harkins said Monday night, “At this point it’s in the state’s hands as far as legislature. We will have to come up with something and craft something that will work for the Erie School District.”

Representative Harkins says he optimistic both sides of the isle will come up with something for the district by the end of June.

We did reach out to the Community Foundation and they say they have no comment at this time because it doesn’t connect with them.

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