Student Needs Assessment Begins

Student Needs Assessment Begins

By Mariah Gaines (Junior)

Dr. Walters in a recent Why Behind the What video explaining ESSER Funds. Credit: PPS

It is no secret that Obama isn’t a school that has money pouring through it. Students, faculty, and staff have to put up a fight to get funding for the things they want. This problem was only exacerbated by the pandemic; this is true for schools nationwide. As a part of the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in early 2021, the federal government set aside money to be allocated to school districts nationwide. Pittsburgh Public Schools received over $100 million, part of which was spent on new technology.

Superintendent Dr. Wayne Walters set aside a chunk of this money to be distributed to each 6-12 and 9-12 school according to population and spent by the students. The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC), which is composed of student leaders from across the district, is working with district administration to spearhead this project. 

Here’s what you need to know:

This funding is a part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund which means this money is to go towards resolving some loss associated with the pandemic. What can be funded is as follows: academic programs, social and emotional programs, mental health supports, educational field trips, college visits, educational supplies etc. This money cannot be put towards food of any sorts or specific clubs/sports. Obama has just over $20,500 to spend.

Walters is calling on all students to participate in the decisions as to where this money is to be spent. This is an opportunity for you to voice the things you want. Members of the SSAC are asking that you fill out the Student Needs Assessment survey by using the QR code below.

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