With a second round of CARES Act funding on the line, it’s time for Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as New York’s 27 House members, to step up for the state’s schoolchildren — including those attending private and religious schools. Otherwise, all schoolchildren across the Empire State will suffer.
In the next few weeks, Congress will deliberate over a new round of COVID-19 relief funding for the nation’s schools. Considering the negative effect shutdowns have had on the economy, the need is urgent. All schools — public, private and religious — face extreme financial challenges. Public schools face decreased revenue streams as tax receipts plummeted. In the private sector, families will struggle to pay tuition. Without tuition, private schools will close en masse — and public schools will face an influx of enrollment when they’re already under immense pressure to accommodate social-distancing requirements with limited amounts of space.
While revenues have been dropping, schools also face rising costs due to the demands that hybrid learning will introduce. Unless both the revenue and spending challenges can be met, the learning decline that began this March will continue unchecked. Schoolchildren can’t afford that trend.
Ray Domanico is a senior fellow and director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute.
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