New York schools are set to receive billions in stimulus funding. Some say it is not enough.

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This week’s top stories

1. Impetus for LI schools, universities

Public schools and universities across the state are expected to receive $ 5.8 billion. according to a summary of the House of Representatives’ recent stimulus package, signed by the President and under scrutiny by the Senate.

The law provides $ 4 billion for elementary and secondary schools. Officials ran over the summer to purchase classroom desk screens, distance learning computers, and other devices required for teaching during the pandemic.

New York colleges and universities that have been fighting coronavirus on campus and running large-scale virus testing programs would receive $ 1.4 billion. The governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund would receive $ 313 million.

Roger Tilles, who represents Long Island on the State Board of Regents, said funding for education is a good start, but not what is necessary.

“That helps a lot,” he said. But it’s not enough. “

In a statement from State Department of Education Vice Chancellor Andrew Born and Transitional Commissioner Betty Rosa, the department said state operating aid to schools will remain at the 2019-20 funding level and that all new federal dollars will be used to supplement the state, no to replace aid money.

“Our schools have incurred a tremendous cost to safely educate New York’s children during the pandemic, and new federal funds should be used to offset those additional costs,” the statement said.

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2. Some sports are back

Long Island’s winter season for high school sports is slated to begin on Monday when low and medium risk sports – bowling for boys and girls, swimming for boys, fencing for boys and girls, gymnastics for girls, and winter lane for boys and girls – are allowed to begin according to state guidelines for return to play.

High-risk winter sports – boys and girls’ basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading – are being postponed indefinitely by the state. Long Island public schools have had no competition since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Teams must have the six state-mandated practices before they can play an event. According to Combs, the first date for the games to start would be January 12th.
  • Suffolk and Nassau counties are planning an eight week winter season.

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3. Educators look to the new year

Schools on Long Island are heading into 2021 and are focused on the health of their students and staff. and also the health of their finances. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has repeatedly warned that he could cut school aid, largely due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state budget.

  • The risk was recently highlighted when state monitors assigned to Long Island’s two poorest school districts released reports highlighting the potential local impact of aid cuts. Hempstead estimated his loss at $ 28 million, compared to a total district budget of $ 225 million. Wyandanch valued more than $ 9 million compared to a budget of $ 69 million. Hempstead’s monitor, Bill Johnson, said any such action by Albany could force its system to “make immediate cuts by mid-year.”
  • Cuomo is still hoping for federal financial relief, but only after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The governor is expected to work out his own budget for 2021-22 and a school aid package by January 19.

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4. Goodbye and thanks to ‘Sister Mary Ann’

Mary Ann Borrello, longtime professor of anthropology at Suffolk County Community College, was always one step ahead during her 48 years of schooling, say her friends and colleagues. Borrello, 81, who founded the college’s pantry in 1976, will retire in January.

  • Sister Mary Ann will leave a legacy of philanthropy, kindness and community spirit, colleagues say. “I don’t know how to fill the void if it goes,” said Lynn Liebert Marx, academic chairwoman of the social sciences department on the Michael J. Grant campus in Brentwood. After Borrello’s retirement, the college will name the pantry after her.
  • The community college pantry provided families with a weekly supply of groceries for the Christmas vacation on December 22nd, college spokesman Drew Biondo said, as it did every Tuesday during the pandemic. This Christmas season, in addition to the weekly food distributions since Thanksgiving, the pantry has spent more than $ 1,200 in gift cards to families to buy groceries and essentials, Biondo said.

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Resources for you

  • Newsday named its first All Long Island team for football in 1962. In the years thereafter, the Newsday All-Long Island honor was expanded to include all high school sports. With this database, you can explore each team each year, sort them by school or sport, and see the number of times a particular player has achieved Newsday All-Long Island status. Please visit projects.newsday.com for more information.
  • Check out HowStuffWorks.com, a website that uses articles, podcasts, and videos to provide easy-to-understand answers and explanations for kids about how the world really works.

A round of applause

A Merrick student and her mother have teamed up to make and distribute hundreds of free face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keira Glover, a third grader at Birch Elementary School, has made more than 300 masks since spring with her mother, Cynthia, as part of their partnership called Glover’s Covers. They gave the masks to teachers, important workers, friends and family for free.

Keira, 8, helps her mother, among other things, with the selection of designs, with cutting the patterns and with packing the masks. “I am happy that we are helping people to stay safe,” said Keira.

Your questions answered

Have any questions? Send them to [email protected] Newsday’s education reporting team selects one each week to respond to in this area.

What will the stimulus mean for public education in New York?

Several state education leaders and organizations have weighed what the incentive will mean for the state’s public schools. Here are their answers:

  • New York State School Boards Association executive director Robert Schneider said this was an “essential step in recovery,” calling the stimulus a lifeline for schools and students who will help carry it through to state and local governments more extensive federal aid can be granted. “Of course, this package isn’t all we hoped for, and it won’t be the last federal aid needed to help states, local governments, and public schools unearth and recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
  • New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta said the group agreed with Transitional Commissioner for Education Betty Rosa and the Board of Regents that the billions earmarked for K-12 schools would be to supplement state aid and maintain it the aid payments to the school districts should be used in full. “Of course, this COVID aid package represents a step on the way to economic recovery. … Here in Albany we continue to support the demand of the ultra-rich to pay their fair share of state taxes in the coming legislative period,” he said.
  • Amanda Wing, interim executive director of the Association of School Business Officials, commended local officials for securing stimulus funds and joined the Board of Regents calling on heads of state to ensure that all school districts receive their full aid payments for the 2020-21 fiscal year Year. “It is also critical that policy makers take the necessary steps to ensure that this new federal funding does not adversely affect the calculations of the tax cap for the 2021-2022 school year. … Congress must provide additional funding to support state and local governments, and that funding would prove catastrophic to the cascading fiscal burden on the school districts and New York as a whole. “

– Find the latest education news at newsday.com/long-island/education.

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