U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced in Ontario County on Monday that schools would need federal support to reopen in the fall.
Schumer was announcing his plan to make the federal funding happen, on the same day that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced guidelines for reopening.
“We can do both,” he said. “We can open our schools in time and open them safely, but only if the federal government steps up to the plate and provides the necessary dollars to make sure safety of the children, teachers, and surrounding community is paramount.”
The proposal, called the Coronavirus Childcare and Education Relief Act calls for $175 billion to be dispersed to K-12 schools across the country. Local districts would be given the opportunity to determine how best to use those funds.
“It’s expensive to make things safe in this new era,” said Schumer. “Obviously, you need PPE for the teachers and everyone else. Obviously, you need to clean the school in anti-bacterial way like you’ve never had to do.”
Victor Central School Superintendent Tim Terranova said he estimates it will take approximately $500,000 for the district to reach the federal standards.
“I’m hopeful, because they are starting to give us more guidance,” he said. “That’s been the hardest thing, is not having guidance for how to plan about the reopening of school.”