School leaders from across the country — including New York schools boss Richard Carranza — want $200 billion in coronavirus aid from the feds to prevent layoffs.
Members of the Council of the Great City Schools warned of dire consequences for public education without a massive infusion of federal money in a joint letter to lawmakers.
The missive cautioned that up to 275,000 teachers could get laid off without the funding.
Carranza and his colleagues wrote that the pandemic has ripped open gaping budget shortfalls that threaten the functioning of major school systems across the country, including New York City.
“These budget cuts will mean teaching staff will be laid off, class sizes will balloon, and remaining teaching staff will likely be redeployed into classes and subjects that they may not be used to teaching—all at a time when they will be asked to address unprecedented unfinished learning from the last school year,” the letter states.
The council added that districts have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on electronic devices to enable remote learning and needs help paying for them.
The city DOE has spent $269,187,271 on iPads and associated services since the shuttering of city schools in March due to the pandemic.
The letter questions the effectiveness of remote learning and asserts that kids will be in academic arrears whenever they return to school.
“Some teachers will have little more than a crash course on how to conduct online learning,” it states. “And, the research on the efficacy of virtual learning is not particularly strong. The truth is that there is simply no substitute for students being with their teachers all day.”
In asking for the additional funding, signatories argued that it would go towards the “salvaging of the futures of millions of young people.”
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