COXSACKIE – U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) held a roundtable with educators and school officials from the Coxsackie-Athens School District to hear about their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for reopening schools this fall. The conversation focused on the need for state and local funding to ensure schools have resources to provide a safe learning environment for students, access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and widespread testing, and how the lack of rural broadband in our communities impacts remote learning. The roundtable included the school superintendent, high school, middle school and elementary school teachers, technology support staff, school nurses, maintenance personnel, and food service employees.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the inequity between urban and rural communities that exists when students are unable to access classrooms. It is essential that our schools have the resources to safely reopen and provide a healthy learning environment for young people and school employees,” said Rep. Delgado. “Today’s conversation focused on the urgent need for state and local funding to make up for budget shortfalls, as well as access to PPE and widespread testing. We also discussed how rural school districts are held back by a lack of affordable, accessible rural broadband which is essential to remote learning. For more than 100 days, the Senate has failed to take up the House-passed the Heroes Act which includes my bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act to ensure every single community, regardless of size, can access urgently needed federal funding. I will not stop pushing to ensure our public schools have the resources – including federal relief funding, PPE and accessible testing, and broadband internet – needed to feel secure as they navigate reopening this fall.”
“We appreciated Congressman Delgado reaching out to our school community wanting to listen directly from our educators about reopening schools. The Congressman’s bipartisan efforts to secure more funding for public schools during this crisis is welcome. So too are his efforts to expand broadband access in rural communities like ours. I know we have a strong supporter of public schools in Congressman Delgado. He listens and cares about our concerns as he does for all residents of NY19, and he gets things done,” said Superintendent of Schools Randy Squier.
In May, Rep. Delgado voted to pass the Heroes Act which includes Rep. Delgado’ Direct Support for Communities Act, bipartisan, bicameral proposal to ensure counties, cities, towns and villages of all sizes can access urgently needed federal funds. The Heroes Act also includes $100 billion in funding for childcare providers, school districts, and institutions of higher education which are facing a surge of unexpected costs.