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May 12, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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Chancellor Rosa, Interim Commissioner Tahoe Advocate for Critical Federal Funding in Letters to Education Secretary DeVos

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe today advocated for federal funding for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning in letters to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, citing New York schools’ urgent need for additional resources to recover from the Novel Coronavirus emergency.

“Schools at every level across our State face tremendous challenges as they address the crisis created by COVID-19,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said. “We commend our dedicated educators who have stepped up heroically, adapting quickly to ensure continuity of learning so our students don’t fall behind. Any reductions in state-provided funding will devastate their ability to meet the educational, technological and social-emotional needs of our students. Data shows the biggest impact of the pandemic has been on Black and Hispanic families, children and low-income communities. It’s imperative that New York receive additional federal funding for elementary and secondary students, to provide critical vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, and to support adult students and their families.”

“The immense fiscal and emotional costs of this pandemic are like nothing that our school communities have ever confronted,” Interim Commissioner Tahoe said. “As we look to re-opening schools in our new reality, we need to ensure that students are supported academically and emotionally in the wake of this pandemic. The federal funding that we have requested from Secretary DeVos is also critical in a rapidly changing landscape to provide support for our colleges and universities, and to ensure the continuation of important public broadcasting stations, museums and libraries. Simply put, we cannot hope to rebuild and move on safely and appropriately from this catastrophe without the additional federal funding we have requested.”

The letters from Chancellor Rosa and Interim Commissioner Tahoe further detail numerous critical areas in which federal funding is needed for school and district recovery, as well as the needs of New York’s colleges and universities, and are posted on the Department’s website.