While the country fought a deadly pandemic for more than a year and schools remained closed, the education system in Pennsylvania received more federal aid than health care systems did.
The Keystone State collected more than $34 billion in federal aid, including through the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, according to the think tank Commonwealth Foundation.
But the bulk of that money did not go to the Department of Health, Medicaid programs, assisted living and nursing homes, vaccine distribution, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.
Public education received 29% ($10.1 billion) of the aid, while 24% ($8.2 billion) went to healthcare.
The Pennsylvania-based think tank found that while nursing homes received $944 million in grants from the Covid-19 aid bills, the Philadelphia School District alone got $1.8 billion.
Students were learning remotely – from home – or in a hybrid of school/home learning for most, if not all, the school year. Why did schools get $10.1 billion in federal aid on top of their annual state and federal aid?
The health system in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country struggled, and in some cases, failed, to provide adequate care during the pandemic. They should get the bulk of the Covid-19 funding, not special interests, which shuttered schools and stunted students’ growth.