New York’s top education officials are seeking federal support for schools in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe in letters this week urged U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to provide more federal funding for elementary and secondary education.
Schools are potentially on the chopping block in New York this week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking $61 billion in direct federal support for the state, has said schools could receive a 20 percent cut, along with health care funding.
“Schools at every level across our State face tremendous challenges as they address the crisis created by COVID-19,” Rosa said. “We commend our dedicated educators who have stepped up heroically, adapting quickly to ensure continuity of learning so our students don’t fall behind. Any reductions in state-provided funding will devastate their ability to meet the educational, technological and social-emotional needs of our students.”
Classroom instruction ended for New York schools more than a month ago, and the rest of the school year in the state has been cancelled by the governor.
Instead, teachers and students have been using distance learning through video conferencing online — a hit or miss prospect for educators.
Congress this week is expected to begin debate on yet another coronavirus relief measure that could provide direct aid to state and local governments battered by the pandemic.