In the hopes of reopening schools in Central New York safely, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for more federal funding. He says the costs of PPE, physical barriers, and other COVID-19 supplies are putting schools past their limit.
“This coronavirus has left us bad choices. We don’t want to spend more money, but if we don’t we have more illness, more death and less money because the economy declines,” said Schumer.
Senator Schumer is pushing for $175 billion in funding to help schools adhere to COVID-19 regulations.
Cazenovia Central School Superintendent Matt Reilly says the school submitted their 50-page reopening plan on Friday.
“In Cazenovia and across the state, COVID-19 is forcing us to, really, to the breaking point in terms of our resources,” said Reilly.
PPE, health and safety training, increased bus use, cleaning, disinfecting, and an increased use of technology are draining school budgets.
Reilly says 10 percent of his school district can’t get online.
It’s why Schumer is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide $15 million for broadband access to nearly 1,000 homes in Madison County.
“It’s a matter of equity. It’s a matter of delivery of instruction that we know is best for kids,” said Reilly.
Schumer says he’s confident the bill will pass because it has bipartisan support.
“I got a billion dollars in the original CARES Act and the Cazenovia School District got $107,000 of that. But we estimate under this plan they’ll get 13 times that, close to a million bucks,” said Schumer.
The bill also includes $132 billion in funding for higher education.