Budget Cuts Loom for Education. How Vulnerable Are Your Local Schools?

COVID-19’s economic fallout is sure to take a toll on districts, but impacts may vary widely
(EWA Radio: Episode 238)

With the nation facing a pandemic-driven recession unlike any in generations, public schools are bracing for a big financial hit. Reporter Daarel Burnette II of Education Week shares insights from his school finance coverage during the crisis and a new database that gauges the economic vulnerability of districts from coast to coast.

What is the potential human toll of budget cuts, especially on programs and services for already vulnerable students? What is the likelihood of massive teacher and staff layoffs, as well as the ripple effect on communities where schools are the largest employer? What additional costs are anticipated to meet the unique safety and social-distancing requirements to reopen school buildings for students? What lessons did districts learn from the economic fallout of the last recession a decade ago? Burnette also explains how the economic crisis will likely exacerbate inequalities for low-income students. And he discusses how local reporters can sharpen their coverage of school finance, likely to be one of the biggest education stories for the new academic year.

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