A year later, New York teachers are still benefiting from the US bailout / Public News Service
A year ago, President Joe Biden signed into law the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Package Act (ARPA), and New York’s teachers’ unions said the measure was continuing. to benefit both educators and students in the state.
Kara McCormick-Lyons, president of the White Plains Teachers Association in Westchester, said the money her district received from the plan enabled her to, among other things, upgrade school facilities and create new programs to help fight against student learning loss during the pandemic. .
“The bailout actually saved us,” McCormick-Lyons said. “Because it really got us back to our classrooms safely and really provided the funding for the things we needed, like ventilation systems and air purifiers.”
According to the US Department of Education, New York received nearly $9 billion from the US bailout. The money was distributed based on the state’s elementary and secondary school emergency relief plan. The New York State Department of Education, which drafted the distribution plan, oversees approximately 2.5 million students enrolled in more than 4,400 public schools.
Samantha Rosado-Ciriello, president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, said ARPA funding has helped her district strengthen and expand its community schools, which provide students with mental health, dental and ocular. She added that the funds also support a union-led program to address long-standing shortages of support staff, which provides pathways to paid internships for students.
“The US bailout allows us to have full-time support staff in every building,” Rosado-Ciriello explained. “It provides the socio-emotional supports that our students need.”
The Learning Policy Institute reports that ARPA has provided more than $120 billion to K-12 schools across the country, the largest single investment in school funding in American history. According to the state, New York has the third largest public education system in the nation.
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