Print

Engel-Led Education Funding for NY Included in HEROES Act

Engel-Led Education Funding for NY Included in HEROES Act

$5 Billion in additional education funds for New York included in the bill

Money would help prevent layoffs and programming cuts

Congressman Eliot L. Engel is pleased to announce that thanks to his efforts with the New York Congressional Delegation, New York is in line to receive an additional $5 billion in funds to help support the state’s public education system as part of the HEROES Act. 

Last month, Congressman Engel led the New York Congressional Delegation in a letter to House Leadership asking for increased education funding for New York as part of the phase 4 coronavirus aid package, later named the HEROES Act. House Leaders heeded the call, adding $5 billion for New York on top of the over $2 billion already provided to the state via the CARES Act.

Without additional federal assistance, New York’s public education system faces severe education layoffs and program reductions.

“As a former educator, I understand how critical it is to always fund our state’s public education system, but especially during these uncertain times,” Rep. Engel said. “Our public school teachers are doing truly remarkable work under extremely difficult circumstances. They deserve our full support and I was proud to lead the New York Delegation in this fight to protect them. The HEROES Act includes $5 billion in education funding for New York’s public education system, more than double the funding we received in the CARES Act, and will play a pivotal role in preventing education layoffs and program reductions. These funds will not only be used to prevent harmful cuts, but also for needed resources such as remote learning technology, wifi hot spots, implementing summer school sessions, as well as professional development training for educators, and childcare reimbursements for school districts that have had to take on these costs. The time to act on behalf of our New York schools is now. We need to pass this bill quickly.”

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee said, “Thank you to Congressman Eliot Engel for his tireless efforts to ensure that the Heroes Act includes $5 billion for education funding for New York State. The state will face devastating cuts without this targeted federal funding for education, and this direct funding for K-12 and public higher education will help New York's students begin to recover from distance learning, educational deficits and the emotional stress of the virus. I commend Congressman Engel and the entire New York Congressional delegation which is fighting hard to ensure that New York receives funding apportioned to reflect the pandemic’s inordinate impact on our state.”

Text of the Engel led New York Delegation letter can be found below:

 

April 20, 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                      The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Speaker of the House                                                  Minority Leader

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Nita Lowey                                        The Honorable Kay Granger

Chairwoman Appropriations Committee                   Ranking Member Appropriations Committee

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott                   The Honorable Virginia Foxx

Chairman Education and Labor Committee               Ranking Member Education and Labor Committee

United States House of Representatives                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Foxx,

 

New York State remains the epicenter of our nation’s COVID-19 crisis, with the most positive cases, and sadly, the most loss of life in the country. The situation in New York is critical, and we are on the forefront of this crisis and need additional assistance.

We want to commend you on your work to ensure the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act (CARES) Act would provide relief to our health care system, put money directly into the hands of Americans, offer significant support to our small businesses, and importantly, deliver helpful education assistance to New York State. The assistance in the CARES Act helps fill in a portion of New York’s education budget gap. However, there is still significant help our state, and constituents, need to prevent widespread education funding cuts. That is why we ask you to include strong levels of funding directly to school districts through the Education Stabilization Fund to ensure our public education system cannot only weather, but also bounce back from, this public health crisis.

New York State schools have been closed as of March 16th statewide, but some schools have been closed as early as March 9th due to the COVID outbreak. This has left our state’s more than 200,000 teachers having to remote teach millions of students. The $2 billion allocated for New York State of the overall $30.75 billion through the CARES Act is a helpful starting point to assist our education system. These funds will be used to help New York purchase education technology and broadband to assist students learn at home. But with an unknown timeline for this public health crisis, more financial resources will be required for our educators.

That is why we are asking for robust education funds to be allocated in the fourth coronavirus package. Additional funding will prevent education layoffs, cuts in education services, such as AP classes, guidance counselors and social workers. We would also ask that these funds can be used for remote learning, school meals, summer school sessions, childcare reimbursement for schools that have had to pay for these costs, professional development for teachers and procuring personal protective equipment (PPEs). Ensuring additional education funding is crucial to maintaining New York State’s education system, and to avoid a slower education recovery. As we have been hardest hit by COVID-19, we ask that New York receive significant support in the next funding package to not only be made whole, but also to avoid layoffs, maintain our education programs and help close the glaring education gap.

We again want to thank you for the tremendous work in passing three critical funding packages to combat this public health emergency. We look forward to working with you on the fourth coronavirus funding package to stop this virus and set our nation on a strong recovery.

 

Sincerely,

 

###