Schumer secures over $2.5 billion for Upstate NY school districts; how it will affect local schools

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(WETM) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the recently-signed American Rescue Plan includes $2.5 billion for Upstate New York’s school districts.

This money will be used 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.

In an official press release, 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.

Southern Tier school districts are supposed to receive nearly $228 million.

The full list is broken down by district on his website.

Jeremy Palotti, superintendent for the Hornell City School District, said it is unclear what state education funding for school districts will look like and how this federal money will intersect with it.

He explained how it comes down to the state budget, which has yet to be passed. He discussed what happened last year.

If we remember a year ago, there was a stimulus package that was passed by the federal government. For example purposes, the Hornell City School District was given about $705,000. The state actually took $705,000 away from us and filled it with this federal money so we really saw no real impact. It was helpful. It helped avoid some further cuts, but until we see what the state budget looks like and how the federal monies go together… it is hard to say what it specifically will do for school districts and in particular our school district.

Jeremy Palotti – Superintendent for the Hornell City School District

The state Constitution mandates the approval of the state budget by April 1.

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