For Schools, The Next Stimulus Package Will Shape The Future
America’s schools are in a dire financial situation.
Tax revenue has plummeted, and economists just officially declared that the country is in a recession. State budgets are set to shrink just as students’ and schools’ needs are set to grow, with students expected to start the next year behind academically and schools facing costly new health mandates.
It’s a math problem with just one solution, according to advocates and experts: Hundreds of billions in federal dollars to avoid teacher layoffs and pay cuts, slashed extracurricular programs, and school years cut short, with districts serving students from low-income families getting hit the hardest.
That means all eyes are on Congress — a rare moment in education, since schools are funded predominantly by state and local governments.
Congressional leaders have indicated that they’re likely to pass a stimulus bill that includes help for school budgets, perhaps by the end of July. The big question now is how much will be in it for schools. The decision will affect the budgets of nearly every school in the country for years, and help determine whether they will be able to effectively respond to the dual educational and health crises.