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School boards say more $$ needed to safely reopen schools

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School board members in New York are concerned they might not be able to successfully fully or partially reopen schools without an infusion of cash from the state or federal governments.

The New York State School Boards Association surveyed school board members from many of the state’s 700 districts and found that while they want children back in the classroom, at least part time, they are concerned there is not enough money right now to provide necessary personal protective equipment, install plastic partitions and teach significantly smaller classes without more state or federal aid.

“Our school board members, really their heart is in opening up the school, but they know it’s going to cost a lot of extra money this year,” said NYSSBA spokesman Dave Albert. “So we are really keeping an eye on Washington to see what happens with the legislation there, and the funding.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said if a federal aid package being negotiated this week does not include more aid, he will have to cut school funding by 20%. Albert said that may force schools to conduct more of their learning remotely this fall.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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