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School boards say more money needed to safely reopen schools


School board members in New York are concerned that 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're concerned there isn't enough money 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 Dave Albert, a spokesperson for the association. “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’ll 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 Albany correspondent for WXXI News.