SCHOOL OFFICIALS FROM the country’s biggest school districts recently sent a message to Congress: Inject the K-12 system with a serious infusion of cash ahead of what forecasters say is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, or brace for the catastrophic results of hallowed out school budgets.
“Dark clouds are forming on the educational horizon that will spell disaster if Congress does not intervene,” 62 superintendents from school districts like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami wrote. “Significant revenue shortfalls are looming for local school districts that will exacerbate the disruption students have already faced.”
They paint a nightmare scenario that’s “far more severe and promises to cause much more substantial damage” than the budget cuts that occurred in 2008 during the Great Recession.
They’re bracing, for example, for 15% to 25% cuts in overall revenues going into next school year. A 20% loss in combined state and local revenues, they warned, would likely result in the big city public schools laying off about 275,000 teachers.