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Connecticut Schools Say 'Significant' Funding Needed To Reopen In The Fall

School Bus

Connecticut education administrators say more federal, state and local government funding would be needed to safely reopen schools this fall. The officials spoke at a roundtable meeting of Governor Ned Lamont’s Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group.

Bob Rader, who heads the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, says his members are concerned about the cost of providing more buses to ensure the social distancing needed for public schools to safely reopen in the fall.

“When you talk about budgets going up maybe 1-2%, there just isn't going to be the resources from the local towns, and we are going to need the states to do more. Schools would also have to pay technology, for perhaps more people to help with different things in the classroom.”

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney says colleges and universities would need funding for the massive testing required to safely reopen residential colleges and universities. Also more financial aid would be needed for returning students.

“We, as institutions ourselves, will not be able to do it alone without significant support, external support.”

She said universities need to recognize not every staff member will be able to come back to campus at the same time, especially those who are at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

If hospitalization levels continue to fall, the plan is for residential institutions to reopen in the fall with students ending their first semester before Thanksgiving. They would start their second semester in January.

The advisory group also addressed summer camps. Officials said they may open on June 29th with strict public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

There would be a limit of 30 campers per program.

Larger camps that can demonstrate they have the space for more children can apply for a waiver from the state.

Parents working on the frontlines during the pandemic can receive a subsidy to cover up to three weeks of camp or other child care.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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