SCHUMER REVEALS: WITHOUT FED FUNDS CENTRAL NEW YORK SCHOOLS MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO SAFELY REOPEN; COSTS OF PPE, PHYSICAL BARRIERS & OTHER SUPPLIES COULD BADLY DRAIN LOCAL RESOURCES, MAKING IT MUCH HARDER FOR CENTRAL NEW YORK DISTRICTS TO OPEN SAFELY; SENATOR PUSHES PLAN TO COVER THOSE COSTS WITH FED DOLLARS IN ‘COVID-4’ & ALLOW SCHOOLS TO SAFELY REOPEN
Schumer Says Local Schools, Like Those Across Central New York, Have Some State & Federal Guidelines To Reopen Safely Amid COVID-19 BUT Not Enough Fed Funds To Afford Them; Pushes New Plan To Inject $175B Into Nation’s K-12 Schools & $15M For County Broadband To Meet The Need
Without Fed Funds To Cover Massive Cost Of PPE, Barriers, Cleaning Supplies, Remote Internet Access & More, Local Budgets Would Be Crushed, Local Taxes Could Rise & Some Schools Might Stay Closed
Schumer: It Would Simply Be Nails On The Chalkboard If A Lack Of Fed Funds Kept Central New York From Safely Reopening Schools
Citing COVID-19 costs as too big for New York school districts to carry alone and alongside Cazenovia School District officials, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer will reveal that without specific federal funds, schools throughout the Central New York region might not be able to reopen safely come fall.
“Everyone wants our schools to reopen, but the federal government must lead the way by funding the safety measures that would open the doors of schools throughout Central New York in a way that helps ensure the coronavirus does not needlessly spread or infect teachers, kids or staff,” said Senator Schumer.
“Without federal dollars to cover the massive costs of PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies, broadband, transportation and more, local school budgets across Upstate New York would be crushed, local taxes could rise and some schools might simply stay closed—and we do not want that. That’s why we need to take action in ‘COVID-4’ and commit $175 billion to the goal of safely reopening K-12 schools for all, along with $15 million for broadband access here in Madison County,” Schumer added.
The senator explained that the massive costs of PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies, remote internet access, transportation and more for students and teachers are prohibitive to reopening plans, especially given potential 20% cuts to state and local education budgets. In order to meet this need, Schumer unveiled his legislative push crafted alongside U.S. Senator Patty Murray, the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA) which will include $175 billion in much-needed assistance for K-12 schools in the ‘Corona-4’ package, a significant amount of which New York would receive.
As schools continue to weigh the decision of welcoming students back to classrooms in just a few weeks, Schumer explained that without major help from the federal government, New York would be devastated and the nation would risk losing 4.5 million child care slots and losing 1.9 million education jobs, exacerbating students’ learning loss.
“The bottom line here is that the coronavirus brought with it unprecedented health and economic challenges for students, families, educators, and learning institutions across the country—challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more,” Schumer added. “So, action is needed now to save teaching jobs, preserve millions of child care slots, and ensure every student has access to a safe, quality education.”
Schumer is also pushing for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve Madison County’s request for $15 million to provide broadband for nearly 1,000 households in the county, which is vital to the education needs of kids during this pandemic, along with the economic strength and recovery of the region. He has further pledged to continue his efforts to secure direct aid for state and local governments to prevent cuts to education budgets.
Highlighted aspects of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA) Schumer will fight for in COVID-4 include:
- $50 billion for a Child Care Stabilization Fund, to ensure that child care providers can stay open, educators can continue getting paid, and working families get tuition relief;
- $1.5 billion to address and prevent child abuse and neglect, to support the child welfare workforce and to fund community-based prevention programs that strengthen families;
- $345 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund, including:
- $175 billion for K-12 schools, to help schools address learning loss, implement public health protocols, and provide quality education to all students—whether they open in-person, remotely, or a hybrid of both;
- $132 billion for higher education, to help colleges and universities deliver a quality education for their students, implement public health protocols, and provide emergency financial aid to students for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology;
- $33 billion for a Governor’s Fund, to allow governors to allocate funds for needed educational services to areas of their states hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
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