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Local School Districts Have Shelled Out Thousands Of Dollars To Cover Massive Costs Of Internet Curriculums, Broadband, PPE, Barriers, Cleaning Supplies, & More

Schumer Has Rung The Bell On Budget Challenges Facing Schools Throughout Pandemic; Brings Fed Assistance To Class In American Relief Plan 

Schumer: More Help Is On The Way To Help Upstate NY School Districts Reopen Safely

After championing funding for education to benefit Upstate New York’s schools, children, and students throughout the pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently-signed American Rescue Plan includes $2.5 billion that will allow Upstate New York’s school districts to fill budget gaps, address learning loss, meet the needs of students with disabilities, assist students experiencing homelessness, provide summer enrichment and afterschool programs, and more.

Schumer explained that after the COVID crisis forced schools to close, safely reopening them has and will continue to cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the federal funding allocated for them in the American Rescue Plan will help schools bring students back to their desks when New York recovers from the pandemic and returns to ‘normal’.

“Everyone wants schools to reopen completely and for our children to be able to return to the classroom, but it needs to be done in a way that is safe for students, families, educators, and learning institutions,” said Senator Schumer. “COVID brought unprecedented challenges that have cost a year of learning and development for students—challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more. As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for our schools a priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to get Upstate students back in school. Help is on the way for Upstate New York’s schools put behind the curve by the pandemic.”

“Thanks to Congress passing the American Rescue Plan Act, school districts can look ahead with renewed confidence that they will be able to deliver for their students in the coming year and beyond. NYSSBA and its members have consistently advocated for additional stimulus funding, and the $9 billion for New York’s K-12 schools will help students emerge in a positive direction from a year of disruptions caused by the pandemic. The inclusion of more than $12 billion to support our state and local governments will be a great benefit for our school communities as well," said Robert Schneider, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

“The name American Rescue Plan says it all: This is a real rescue package for K-12 schools across New York as they continue to grapple with needs only exacerbated by this pandemic,” New York State United Teachers President, Andy Pallotta said. “From helping districts preserve existing academic services to getting kids the social-emotional supports they need to providing the funding needed to reopen more classrooms with the right safety measures in place, Sen. Schumer, Congress and the president have delivered for New York students yet again.”

New York Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee said, “Thank you to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his hard work and persistence to ensure New York schools and students receive much needed support through the American Rescue Plan. This unprecedented federal funding will put us on the right path to recover from the devastation our school communities faced during the pandemic. I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that all federal aid will be used to supplement, rather than replace, state funding. The pandemic exacerbated disparities in our schools, and we must ensure that resources and staff are available to help students recover academically and work through mental and emotional health challenges. Thank you also to Majority Leader Schumer’s staff members for working closely with me in our efforts to secure additional education funds for our schools.” 

“The American Rescue Plan investment in public education comes at a critical juncture as our MCSBA school districts establish plans for the full reopening of our buildings. Without this funding, districts would continue to be forced to redirect resources for many of the unanticipated costs related to the pandemic. Now, our districts can focus on getting students and staff back safely, make determinations on how best to meet student needs moving forward and begin to focus on helping our communities see the opportunities for education beyond the pandemic. We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his leadership and his determination to make this substantial investment in order to improve the lives of our children and their families,” said Sherry Johnson, Executive Director of Monroe County School Boards Association.

“The City School District of Albany is grateful beyond measure to Senate Majority Leader Schumer, as well as Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko, for their leadership in helping to make the American Rescue Plan a reality for school districts and communities like ours nationwide,” said Superintendent of Albany City School District, Kaweeda G. Adams. “The fiscal loss and uncertainty we have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to our ability to provide the academic and social-emotional programs and staffing we know our students and families need and deserve. This very welcomed and needed federal funding will help stabilize our organization throughout the COVID-19 recovery, and allow us to provide additional supports our students and families will need in the months and years ahead.”

“We would like to thank Senator Schumer and everyone involved in securing this much needed funding.  Small, distressed school districts like Rensselaer have never needed support more than right now with the additional costs of keeping our students safe and providing them with the instructional support that they will need after this crazy year.  We are comforted in knowing that our voices of student advocacy in a small, high needs district were heard loud and clear,” said Joseph Kardash, Superintendent of Rensselaer City School District.

“The announcement of this federal stimulus is a bright spot in an otherwise challenging year.  This funding will assist us in Syracuse with helping to address learning loss, social emotional supports for students and families, increased technology and minor building infrastructure needs.  I would like to thank Senator Chuck Schumer for his leadership and everyone who worked tirelessly to see that this funding was awarded as a part of the relief package,” said Jaime Alicea, Superintendent of Syracuse City School District.

“We are so very grateful for Senator Schumer’s advocacy for additional funding for PK-12 education. The American Rescue Plan’s thoughtful inclusion of funding to support free access to the internet, ensure resources continue to be available to open schools safely, and parallel funding for our city ensures that families, as well as children will benefit. Funding at this level allows for our students to not only survive, but thrive as our schools gear up for the full return of students to our classrooms,” said Dr. Tonia Thompson, Superintendent of the Binghamton City School District.

“We are extremely appreciative of Senator Schumer’s advocacy in securing funding for New York State as a part of the emergency legislative package, the American Rescue Plan.   His continued support and dedication to the great state of New York, more specifically, the education of New York’s youth, is an invaluable asset to the Middletown School Community.  School districts have been forced to respond to the pandemic in a variety of creative ways.  This funding will be used to support the continued emphasis on the health, safety, and well-being of our students.  Additionally, it will enable our district to continue to utilize our general funds for areas of highest need and use these funds to address educational disruptions due to the global pandemic,” said Richard Del Moro, Superintendent of Middletown City School District.  

“We thank Senator Schumer for securing this critical funding for the Yonkers City School District in the American Rescue Plan. These funds will directly support our students, teachers, and staff as we begin to transition back to in-person learning, providing opportunities for focused instruction and, most importantly, to address our students social-emotional challenges that have risen over the past year,” said Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Yonkers City School District.

This funding is in addition to the $5 billion Schumer secured for New York school districts in the past COVID relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $14 billion for New York school districts in the past year.

Schumer previously visited the Finger Lakes, North Country, Central New York, Western New York, Southern Tier, and Hudson Valley to advocate for federal funding for Upstate school districts.

Estimated breakdown by region below and district-by-district breakdown here.



Capital Region


Southern Tier


Western New York


Hudson Valley


Rochester-Finger Lakes


Central New York


Mohawk Valley


North Country