Schools are swimming in COVID money—they should fund families with it

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In a series of federal bailouts since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, public schools have received $190 billion extra to spend. Despite this windfall, a lot remains unspent, and states and even some public school districts have been accumulating record rainy day funds.

Now, the Biden administration is urging public schools to “be considering” permanent funding commitments with their temporary bailout billions that need to be spent by September 2024. Although some districts have staff shortages, giving this advice to all school districts is, quite simply, irresponsible.


Empty Classroom In Elementary School.  (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

History shows that districts should be extremely careful with hiring more staff with temporary federal funds—districts without real shortages should avoid this completely even knowing that the amount of the extra federal taxpayer funds has been ludicrously large. If they do, they run the risk of having to raise property taxes when the temporary funds run out.

Instead, districts should use their considerable influx in resources to address the real pandemic-related education challenge: learning losses that students are facing due to school shutdowns

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