Some LI universities laying off employees despite receiving multimillion-dollar stimulus checks
Colleges across Long Island are receiving federal stimulus money, but some are still laying off or furloughing workers as they try to deal with budget shortfalls.
Janine Celauro is one of many employees of various Long Island colleges who have been laid off since schools switched to online instruction during the pandemic. Celauro spent 12 years at Long Island University's radio station.
Celauro was originally on a 30-day furlough, but two weeks ago she was permanently laid off, which also meant she no longer has health insurance.
"I thought that was very inhumane, unconscionable on the university's part to do something like that," says Celauro.
Celauro says it is especially insulting because schools across Long Island have received millions in federal stimulus money. The bill requires schools to spend half of their funding on emergency financial aid and grants to students.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Adelphi University will receive more than $5 million, and laid off 160 hourly employees who aren't eligible for health insurance but were given a two-week stipend.
Spokesman Todd Wilson says it's unclear if those cuts will be permanent, saying, "No further layoffs have been announced at this time. However, the university remains proactive in planning for all anticipated challenges."
Hofstra University will receive more than $6 million in aid. It says, "A small number of employees whose jobs cannot be performed from home have been furloughed for a short period of time. They retain their benefits during this time."
A spokesman for Stony Brook University says, as per a SUNY-wide directive, there have been no layoffs or furloughs at the university. There have been furloughs from organizations and vendors who support the school.
Adelphi, Hofstra and Stony Brook have confirmed they're refunding a portion of money students paid for housing and meals.
Meanwhile, Long Island University is getting $7 million in funding and is named in a federal lawsuit filed by students demanding partial refunds. LIU did not respond to email requests for information.
READ: Allocations for U.S. schools