Erie News Now is taking a closer look at how the Erie School District plans to spend almost $61 million in emergency funding.

The district has strict guidelines it must follow in distributing the money.

A large portion will go towards addressing learning loss as a result of the pandemic, providing additional academic support and student assistance.

The district plans to reduce elementary school class sizes to 20 or fewer students by hiring additional teachers.

The funding will also cover the cost of it summer school program for the next four years.

Each school will receive a portion of the emergency funding to address academic challenges within each building.

Erie School District has teamed up with United Way to transform every school into a community school.

The remaining American Rescue Plan funds - about $17 million - will go towards fixing the ventilation systems in each school.

"This is a once in a career opportunity so to speak," said Neil Brockman, operations director for Erie's Public Schools. "I don't think that we are going to get another as long as there is not another pandemic. We wanted to make sure we were spending the money wisely."

The district is also finalizing its back to school plan.