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Schumer calls on CNY to lobby Congress for more money for schools in coronavirus relief bill

Ellen Abbott
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at Cazenovia College

Senate leaders and White House officials continue to negotiate the next coronavirus relief bill, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Schumer is calling on central New Yorkers to lobby for legislation that will include more money for schools.

Standing in front of Cazenovia High School Friday, Schumer said schools need the federal government to come through if they are expected to open up in any way, shape, or form come September. Cazenovia School District Superintendent Matt Reilly agreed, putting the cost of COVID at hundreds of thousands of dollars for his small district.

"PPE, transportation, internet access, health and safety, training. All of these unanticipated COVID-related expenses, we couldn’t have possibly foreseen," Reilly said.

Schumer is pushing for the Democratic version of legislation that includes $345 billion for schools and higher education. He joins Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has also lobbied for the bill in central New York.

Since they’re both on board, he’s asking for a different kind of lobbying from New Yorkers.

"Please, if you’re in central New York, some of you have kids that have moved away, some have parents that have moved away," Schumer said. "Call them and ask them to call their senator and say 'this is needed everywhere.'"

Schumer said getting Republicans and Democrats to agree on all areas of need, from schools to local governments, is what is needed since negotiations have broken down.

"We have so many problems. What do you, pick and choose schools, not local governments? People who are getting evicted over people who can’t feed their kids? You gotta go across the board, it’s the biggest dispute we have," he said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.