MID-HUDSON – Educators want the ability to teach their students face-to-face, but they acknowledge that in these COVID-19 times, that may be a difficult task.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) discussed the concerns with four teachers on a video conference on Wednesday.
Without the new federal COVID-19 bill including aid to states, localities and school districts, Governor Cuomo has said he would have to cut state aid by 20 percent.
Couple that with teacher concerns about returning to classrooms. Robin McCauley of Newburgh, who is a special education teacher in Middletown, would like to return to the classroom but she is absolutely terrified” to do it.
“How on earth with a 20 percent cut can we provide enough masks, PPE, hand sanitizer, cleaning,” she asked.
Darrell McElroy, a history teacher at Monroe-Woodbury High School, said the concern for the children’s safety is paramount and returning to the classroom would be difficult.
“Major League Baseball has many more resources than we do and they couldn’t protect their own players,” he said. “The political conventions aren’t happening out of concerns of safety.”
Maloney stands squarely on the side of teachers and educating kids.
“The choice right now is between a major historic investment in our schools and all of you, our teachers, so we can truly build back better especially in education, or on the other hand, cuts of 20 percent to education in the State of New York,” he said.
And Maloney said he will go to the mat to secure funding for states, localities and schools in the next COVID-19 round of emergency funding.