To help ensure each school district has the financial resources necessary to safely reopen in accordance with health guidance this fall, the full Assembly voted 74-1-0 measure (ACR-190) on Thursday to petition the federal government for additional emergency response funding.
Sponsors of the concurrent resolution, Assembly Democrats Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), Pamela Lampitt (D-Burlington, Camden) and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), issued the following joint statement:
“Our schools are up against a host of complexities when it comes to reopening for in-person learning this fall. They have significant considerations to make in order to protect the health and safety of students and staff across 600 diverse districts, and how every school community is able to do that will naturally look very different.
“According to education officials, schools are estimated to need at least an additional $490 per student to safely reopen. While the CARES Act funding has made $310 million available, another round of federal emergency response funding is beyond critical.
“Without it, students face either a return to remote learning, which would only exacerbate the learning loss and disparities we’ve seen, or a return to in-person instruction without adequate protections put in place.
“Either option creates irreparable harm. The funding need is urgent.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.