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Rice, Thomas, Darling Renew Call for Town of Hempstead to Reimburse Hempstead Union Free School District for Remote Learning Expenses

The Town has yet to reimburse the school district for the purchase of 1,500 laptops and other technological devices despite receiving $133 million in federal aid

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Washington, October 7, 2020 | comments

GARDEN CITY, NY – U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04), New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, and New York State Assembly Member Taylor Darling sent a letter to Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin urging the Town of Hempstead to use the funding it received in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to reimburse the Hempstead Union Free School District for the purchase of 1,500 laptops and other technological devices needed to equip students for remote learning.

Rice, Thomas and Darling first made this request to Clavin’s office on a conference call in June, but it has yet to be fulfilled. The Town received $133 million in federal CARES Act funding that will expire on December 31, 2020 if it goes unused.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

The Honorable Donald X. Clavin 

Hempstead Town Supervisor  

Hempstead Town Hall 1 Washington St.  

Hempstead, NY 11550 

Dear Supervisor Clavin 

We write you today to urge you to use the funding the Town of Hempstead (“the Town”) was provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to reimburse the Hempstead Union Free School District for the purchase of laptops and other technological devices in order to adequately equip students for remote learning. As you are aware, the Town received $133 million in federal aid – the only township in the entire country to receive money from the CARES Act – and currently, the funding must be used by December 31, 2020.

In preparation for the reopening of schools, Representative Kathleen Rice hosted a virtual conference call in June with Dr. Bill Johnson, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Assemblywoman Taylor Darling, Senator Kevin Thomas, and Christine Grillo, a representative from your office. Assemblywoman Darling, Senator Thomas, and Representative Rice asked the Town to reimburse the Hempstead Union Free School District for the purchase of laptops and other technological equipment needed for remote learning. To date, that request has not been fulfilled and the Hempstead Union Free School District is still in desperate need of reimbursement for its purchase of 1,500 laptops.  

With flu season approaching, public health officials have told us to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19. We need to be prepared for the prospect that students may need to return to remote learning full-time. The Hempstead Union Free School District has already purchased devices to ensure that students can continue their education without interruption. The school district is expecting the shipment of these devices during the first week of October. The high cost of these devices have greatly burdened the Village of Hempstead--a community that has been ravaged by COVID-19 and is still struggling to recover.

Once again, we urge the Town of Hempstead to commit to reimbursing the Hempstead Union Free School District’s purchases of technological devices with the funding the Town received from the CARES Act before the funding expires at the end of this year. We look forward to your prompt response to this matter.  



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