Harrisburg – Dec. 22, 2017 – The state Department of Education has approved $2 million in grant funding to help the Penn Hills School District tackle severe fiscal issues, state Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said today.

Costa, who has been meeting with officials from the district, the state Department of Education, state Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Penn Hills), parents and others to move special financial help forward, said he was thrilled that the funds have been made available.

“Since the district started experiencing fiscal distress, we have been searching for resources to help them regain strong financial footing,” Costa said.  “The funding that was approved for the district will assist at a time of real need.

“I am thrilled that the department took this step, but I realize that our work is not done and that this is simply a step to help protect taxpayers, students, teachers, administrators and all who care about the district’s future.”

The Forest Hills lawmaker said that Penn Hills was eligible for this funding because it was experiencing an exceptional financial situation.  He said that he and other policymakers realize that funding streams are only temporary lifelines and that permanent solutions must be pursued.

Costa said he was especially pleased to work with DeLuca, Penn Hills School Board President Erin Vecchio, other members of the board, Superintendent Dr. Nancy J. Hines and interested parents and taxpayers to try and chart a responsible financial course that will help the district.

“We must do more to help Penn Hills address its financial situation and move it toward solid financial footing,” DeLuca said.  “Senator Costa and I are committed to examining all state revenue streams to help the district and its taxpayers deal with the extreme financial situation.”

Costa said that he was planning to meet with state education officials again in January to explore other funding options and resources.