NYC Schools Face $1 Billion Cliff After Covid Widened Inequity
(Bloomberg) -- New York City schools are slated to receive over $8 billion in emergency federal funding by fiscal 2025 to blunt the impact of the pandemic on students. But some planned expenditures, such as staffing increases and new programs, will likely outlast the aid.
Unless revenue improves, the Department of Education’s overhang of unfunded recurring costs will exceed $1 billion annually within four years, according to a report by the Office of the New York State Comptroller.
“Historic federal investment has provided an opportunity to meet short-term challenges, but it won’t last forever,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a press release Thursday. “I urge the department to address future budgetary risks and commit to prudent long-term financial planning.”
The financial pressure comes as the nation’s largest district grapples with the fallout of a historic pandemic that has ravaged schools and students. About 85% of students attended online classes during the spring of 2020, compared to roughly 91% in-person on average pre-pandemic, the report said. Preliminary data shows the city lost 5% of its pre-K through 12th grade enrollment, and about half of those lost students are expected to return in the coming year.
The city’s Department of Education didn’t provide an immediate comment on the report.
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