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ST. MARYS - On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education approved Pennsylvania’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) along with distributing the remaining $1.6 billion in funding.

In total, Pennsylvania is receiving $5 billion in ARP ESSER funds, of which $3.3 billion was released to the state on March 24 and $1.6 billion on August 5. Preliminary statewide enrollment in Pa. schools is just over 1.7 million students.

St. Marys Area School District is only receiving $2.3 million, according to Superintendent Brian Toth.

“This is because of the federal Title I formula. My hope is that SMASD would receive more funds. This would be fair,” Toth said.

He noted school districts in similar size to SMASD are receiving $8-$10 million in this funding.

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