NEW YORK — New York City and Newark were among dozens of city public schools asking for Congress to allocate $200 billion for schools in upcoming relief packages.
The letter was sent on behalf of The Council of the Great City Schools which calls itself "the nation's primary coalition of large, urban public school districts."
The coalition is asking for $175 billion allocated in educational stabilization funds, $13 billion for IDEA, $12 billion in additional Title I program funding and $2 billion for E-Rate, as well as emergency infrastructure funds.
So far, Congress has allocated $13.5 billion for public schools in the CARES act, which the letter calls "a critical lifeline." However, they now want Congress to give "a second, substantially larger installment for public school systems" in what would be the fourth supplemental appropriations bill.
The Council of the Great City Schools says that they're facing unexpected costs, including providing meal services to students and helping them to learn remotely. They also cite forthcoming revenue shortfalls that the letter claims "will spell disaster if Congress does not intervene," adding that many school districts are projecting 15-25% cuts in overall revenues going into the 2020-21 school year.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, New York City has warned that there could be up to 50% in cuts without federal aid.
Over 1 million people in the United States alone have contracted coronavirus.