News Department

Gottheimer announces new federal COVID-19 relief money for school districts in Sussex and Warren Counties

Investment will help schools fully reopen, improve technology, create afterschool & summer programs to help students to catch up

VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Thursday announced that new federal dollars are being clawed back from Washington for school districts in Sussex County and Warren County, as part of the American Rescue Plan — the COVID-19 relief package signed into law in March 2021.

Sussex County school districts will receive an estimated total $9.09 million, and Warren County school districts an estimated total $6.14 million.

After years of school funding cuts from the State and new expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these new federal resources come through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER) for schools to use to follow CDC guidance to safely and fully reopen schools for in-person learning; to keep educators and students safe; to improve ventilation; to avoid faculty layoffs; to implement necessary programs to meet the academic and mental health needs of students hit hardest by the pandemic; to invest in Wi-Fi hotspots and technology for students to stay connected; and, to invest in critical after-school and summer programs to help some students catch up.

“The federal American Rescue Plan dollars we are delivering today, that I fought so hard for, will help stem the bleeding from the state’s budget cuts, and will directly help our students, teachers, and schools here in Sussex and Warren Counties. Now, with this COVID-19 relief package that Congress passed and had signed into law this past March, and new resources being clawed back to our communities — like the million dollars coming here — my hope is we can improve our schools and help stem property tax increases,” Gottheimer said. “This pandemic has disrupted Northwestern New Jersey students’ learning for too long, which is why I’ve fought throughout the COVID relief negotiations to include our state government, local and municipal governments, and school districts in the plan for federal help. On both sides of the aisle, I know this is something that we can all come together to support, because we all see how clearly this relief is needed right here at home.”

“We are truly lucky to have a congressional representative who pays as much attention to Vernon Township after we have given him our vote of confidence, as he did when he was seeking our vote of confidence. He has always been here for us, and with us, whenever we have needed him. The COVID-19 crisis, has devastated the health, education, and economic wellbeing of millions of Americans. Many of those Americans live here in Vernon Township. Funds from the American Rescue Plan will deliver relief to many who have been negatively impacted by this COVID-19 crisis, and thanks to the tireless work of our congressman, Vernon Township will get its share of these funds,” Vernon Township Mayor Howard Burrell said.

“Today, I am grateful and honored to introduce Congressman Gottheimer. Without his support of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund, our district would not be able to plan for the future our children deserve,” Superintendent of Vernon Schools Karen D’Avino said. “This funding finally allows us to plan on caring for our facilities and students in ways that are necessary to develop the whole child and support academic, athletic, artistic, and social emotional needs.”

“On behalf of the Vernon Township Board of Education, I want to thank President Biden, Vice President Harris, Congressman Gottheimer and other members of Congress — for choosing to invest in education — for choosing to invest in the students of the Vernon Township School District,” Vernon Board of Education President Justin Annunziata said. “It is no secret that Vernon continues to face declining state funding for our schools. Now more than ever, federal grant money provided through the American Rescue Plan will provide us with the opportunity to meet the changing needs of our students, as we climb out of the COVID-19 crisis, and look towards a new day.”

The announcement at Vernon Township High School, where Vernon School District will be clawing back $1.45 million, Gottheimer was joined by Vernon Mayor Howard Burrell, Executive County Superintendent Dr. Gayle Carrick, Superintendent of Vernon Schools Karen D’Avino, Vernon Council President Harry Shortway, Vernon Councilman Andrew Pitsker, Vernon Board of Education President Justin Annunziata, and Pam McCann of the Secretary School Education Association.

The new federal dollars being clawed back to Fifth District school districts in Sussex & Warren Counties include:

Fifth District Sussex County estimates:

  • Andover Regional School District: $384,139
  • Frankford Township School District: $253,958
  • Franklin Borough School District: $653,088
  • Fredon Township School District: $326,885
  • Hamburg Borough School District: $248,378
  • Hampton Township School District: $222,441
  • Hardyston Township School District: $338,402
  • Kittatinny Regional School District: $581,759
  • Lafayette Township School District: $129,981
  • Montague Township School District: $986,189
  • Newton Town School District: $1,620,275
  • Stillwater Township School District: $197,364
  • Sussex-Wantage Regional School District: $1,183,957
  • Vernon Township School District: $1,459,239
  • Wallkill Valley Regional School District: $511,234

Fifth District Warren County estimates:

  • Great Meadows Regional School District: $526,598
  • Allamuchy Township School District: $220,221
  • Belvidere Town School District: $297,674
  • Blairstown Township School District: $316,920
  • Frelinghuysen Township School District: $100,579
  • Hackettstown Town School District: $1,228,467
  • Hope Township School District: $139,120
  • North Warren Regional School District: $419,633
  • Oxford Township School District: $227,816
  • Warren Hills Regional School District: $1,077,469
  • Washington Borough School District: $970,943
  • Washington Township School District: $266,705
  • White Township School District: $353,048

For more information on how school districts can utilize the federal dollars, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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