New York superintendent calls for 'Marshall Plan' for schools: ‘We’ve been screaming’ for support

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White Plains Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca says more federal support must be allocated to help schools stay safe and open.

The coronavirus pandemic has left the nation’s schools in the dark, with many buildings closed and uncertain about when they will reopen.

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Superintendents in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago have recently called for a massive injection of federal aid, a plea echoed by White Plains (N.Y.) Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca on FOX Business Network's “After the Bell.”

“We need a plan like the Marshall Plan,” said Ricca, referring to the massive post-World War II foreign aid initiative that helped rebuild Western Europe. “We have not had comprehensive federal support for public schools.”

Ricca added that despite the importance of public schools to communities, their children and local economies, there have been “crickets” from the government.

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Students enter P.S. 134 Henrietta Szold Elementary School, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

“We’ve been screaming for the passage of the HEROES Act to support us in public schools, to make sure we have what we need to stay open to support our kids,” he said. “It’s just not coming through.”

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Ricca said schools are in need of “comprehensive” coronavirus screening and testing, and explained there’s “no reason” contact tracing programs haven’t already been put in place in districts around the country.

“We’re doing that all by ourselves right now,” he said. “And on top of it, we’re doing it and we know that our states are running deficits because there’s been no support from the federal government. So to get this right, we need a Marshall Plan.”

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