First Nations back-to-school COVID-19 funding falls far short, says AFN regional chief



a group of people sitting in a room: First Nations schools, like Sturgeon Lake Central School in Saskatchewan seen in 2018, will be receiving $112 million for COVID-19 back to school preparations, Ottawa announced Wednesday.


© Jason Warick/CBC
First Nations schools, like Sturgeon Lake Central School in Saskatchewan seen in 2018, will be receiving $112 million for COVID-19 back to school preparations, Ottawa announced Wednesday.

The $112 million for COVID-19 back-to-school preparations for First Nations that Ottawa announced on Wednesday falls far short of needs faced by communities, according to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regional chief responsible for education. 

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron, who is the AFN regional chief for Saskatchewan, said the over 630 First Nations across Canada need about $1 billion to fully prepare for the restart of classes amid the pandemic. 

“Obviously our expectations were much higher,” said Cameron, who holds the education portfolio.

“We should have received $1 billion or close to it and at least we would have a fighting chance to have our schools ready.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the $112 million

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Berks school districts awarded coronavirus funding | Berks Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Several school districts in Berks County are receiving some help in their efforts to educate their students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Antietam, Conrad Weiser, Daniel Boone, Governor Mifflin, Muhlenberg, Reading, and Tulpehocken, along with the Berks County Intermediate Unit, are among 220 school districts and education agencies across the state that will share in $17 million from Pennsylvania’s portion of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“While all schools have been impacted this year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools that have been identified under ESSA as needing extra support are facing additional challenges,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “This funding will help these high-need schools as they put systems in place to help students while we work to control the spread of this virus.”

ESSA requires states to designate schools for support and improvement based on the performance of individual student groups in key areas, including

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