|Schools' uneven financial funding 'cliffs' examined|
Chalkbeat offers a guide to the federal school funding cliff and what factors will make or break school budgets after relief aid runs out. “The feds pushed a lot of money into the K-12 system,” comments Lori Taylor, an education finance researcher at Texas A&M University. “Now the districts are being weaned off of that funding, they’re losing that shock absorber, that cushion.” Schools have received roughly $190bn, which is around $4,000 per student. Money from the final pot has to be earmarked by the end of September 2024, though schools can seek an extension for when that money is actually spent. It’s clear that a good chunk of the funding was indeed used for one-time expenses: HVAC and other building upgrades, personal-protective equipment for COVID, bonuses for staff. In summary, high-poverty schools got more federal money, so face a steeper cliff, the scope of cuts will depend on how schools have chosen to spend federal money, generous state or local funding could cushion the fall but states themselves could soon face budget challenges, thus limiting their ability to help schools.