School districts around the country are reeling at the prospect of deep budget cuts to education funding in light of the coronavirus, which has emptied state and local coffers, according to a report on NPR.
“I think we’re about to see a school funding crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern history,” warns Rebecca Sibilia, the CEO of EdBuild, a school finance advocacy organization. “We are looking at devastation that we could not have imagined … a year ago.”
Schools are anticipating potential first round cuts to buildings, transportation, supplies and equipment; followed by a second wave of trimming to staff levels, which are already hovering at a decreased level following the Great Recession of 2008 – 2010. Schools across America have also already furloughed or laid off half a million workers as a result of coronavirus school closings.
Funding for education from the recently passed CARES Act, which allocates $13 billion toward K-12 schools, is not nearly enough, education advocates say. A letter sent to Congress and signed by a collection of parents, teachers, and principals has requested an additional $175 billion for K-12 learning in order to avoid a disruption in enrollment and school services..
Read and listen to the full report here.