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  • Education groups sound the alarm on expiring federal funding

    Feb 21, 2024

    The funding is set to expire this summer, and there's no other money in place to fill the gaps.
    Spectrum News NY1

    Spectrum News – Seven billion dollars in federal funding helped prop up the city’s public school system as it was recovering from the pandemic.

    The money is temporary, but officials have used some of it to pay for long-term needs. Now, it’s set to disappear.

    “The dollars we’re talking about are largely temporary federal dollars but these are investments that the state and the city should have been making all along,” Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children, said.

    The expiring federal dollars, coupled with $700 million in city education budget cuts, will mean a slew of education programs are rolled back or eliminated.

    In a press briefing Wednesday, the Emergency Coalition to Save Education Programs, made up of organizations that work with children, outlined some of the funding that is at stake: $263 million for pre-K and 3-K, $96 million for preschool special education, $77 million for community schools, $67 million for school social workers, $17 million for bilingual programs and translation services, $12 million for 100 shelter-based community coordinators and more.

    In the case of pre-K and 3-K seats, that $263 million cut includes $96 million in disappearing federal funds and $170 million in city budget cuts.

    “A parent who doesn’t have access to 3-K doesn’t care if they lost the seat because of federal, state, city funding,” Levine said.

    Advocates say it won’t only mean pre-K and 3-K can’t continue to expand — the programs will lose seats.

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