Shapiro Administration Announces $75 Million in Public School Environmental Grants

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published February 13, 2024 5:24 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 4:41 pm
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Recognizing that students cannot learn, grow, and thrive without access to safe and healthy school facilities, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on Monday announced $75 million in grant funding to help schools make environmental repairs and improvements.

“Preparing and nurturing the next generation of successful Pennsylvanians starts with making sure all students have a safe, healthy environment to learn in,” said Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “These grants help school districts make necessary upgrades and repairs to their buildings and learning spaces to ensure that our students and school staff have safe air to breathe, water to drink, and classrooms to learn in.”

Eliminating lead and asbestos along with other environmental contaminants in schools lowers cumulative exposure across childhood, leads to better cognitive and overall health outcomes for children, and increases the likelihood of academic and career success.

PDE’s Public School Environmental Repairs Grant Program focuses on remediating and abating environmental hazards in schools to create the safe, healthy learning environments that students and staff deserve. The 2023-24 enacted budget allocated $75 million for the program, and is open to school districts, career and technical centers (CTCs), and charter schools.

PDE will accept applications from May 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. Schools may apply for funding to abate or remediate environmental hazards including, but not limited to, lead in water sources, asbestos, and mold inside school buildings. Entities may apply for funding for eligible expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2023.

School entities may apply using the PDE’s School Construction and Maintenance Management (SCMM) system, accessible through MyPDESuite.

The 2023-24 budget also earmarked $100 million for the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Public School Facility Improvement Grant Program, which provides grants for heating and air conditioning upgrades, window replacement, lead and asbestos abatement, and other improvement projects for eligible schools. DCED will begin accepting applications on March 1.

Knowing the importance of continuing to provide Pennsylvania’s students with safe, healthy learning environments, Governor Shapiro is calling to invest even more towards these efforts in his 2024-25 budget proposal. Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget calls for a $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements and $300 million in sustainable funding for PDE’s School Environmental Repairs and Improvements Grant Program.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visit the Department of Education website.


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