Reading −January 22, 2024 −Today, Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) announced that she has secured an additional $1 million for the Reading School District and $500 thousand for the Antietam School District in Ready to Learn Block Grants.
Ready to Learn Block Grants support pre-K and elementary school educational programming in public schools. The grants are awarded to school districts using a formula established by the fiscal code for the 2023-2024 Pennsylvania state budget. The 2023-2024 budget allocated $295 million to Ready to Learn Block Grants throughout the commonwealth.
Under the formula, Reading received $4,785,693 and Antietam $167,132. The additional support secured by Schwank brings those totals to $5,785,693 for Reading and $667,132 for Antietam. Schwank said she’s been working behind the scenes with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Harrisburg for months to pull down additional state resources for the two school districts.
“It was important to me that these two school districts didn’t get lost in the shuffle during this year’s drawn-out budget process,” Schwank said. “Both districts are working tirelessly to meet the needs of students. I’m proud to partner with the leadership of both Reading and Antietam and support their efforts to provide students with a high-quality public education.”
Although Ready to Learn Block Grants aren’t eligible for facility improvements, Schwank said the 300% increase Antietam received could free up other dollars already allocated towards eligible programming.
“This funding is not in direct response to the flooding over the summer, but it will take some economic burden off the school district. Hopefully, it will provide Antietam more flexibility as they continue working towards a long-term plan.”