As School Board Members, we are deeply concerned about the economic impact this unprecedented health crisis will have on the education we will provide next year and for several years to come. As our community continues to battle COVID-19, our school administration, faculty, and staff have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and ethic of care. They have provided continuity in educational programs and have been a reliable resource that we turn to for our daily lives by providing meals, distance learning guidance, and analysis from our State Department of Education.
As Board members, we are grateful for this support but also know we cannot rest here. Our state government has also responded to the crisis, providing effective leadership and guidance. However, our state has shouldered the burden of this crisis without adequate support or coordination from the federal government. New Yorkers have done their jobs. It is time for the federal government to do its job. New York State must receive federal relief funding in the next COVID-19 relief package; without it, the consequences for our students will be significant and long-lasting.
We are asking our community to press our senate leadership to provide vital assistance to NYS schools and other essential services. Senators Cassidy and Menendez introduced a bipartisan State and Municipal Aid for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund, which would create a $500 billion fund to help states and local governments respond to the current public health and economic crisis while maintaining essential services. The funds would be delivered in three equal distributions based on population size, the number of COVID-19 cases, and state revenue losses relative to pre-coronavirus projections.
As the Senate returned to Washington on May 4, the time to call Senator Kristen Gillibrand (https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/office-locations) and Senator Chuck Schumer (https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/office), locations is now and ask them to support this vital piece of legislation. We as a board have done this, but there is strength in numbers. Please contact your legislator today to preserve our children’s education and our community’s essential services.
WARWICK VALLEY BOARD OF EDUCATION
SHARON DAVIS, PRESIDENT;
KEITH PARSONS, VICE PRESIDENT;
DAVE EATON; EILLEEN GAGLIANO; JOHN GARCIA; DENISE GINLEY; ROBERT HOWE; LYNN LILLIAN; & DORY MASEFIELD