Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“With stimulus funding we can officially return money to schools that would be lost to the registration process. This means more money for teachers and tutoring as we reopen school buildings,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter on Monday announced a full hold harmless of school budgets that were impacted by this year’s mid-year adjustment in light of federal stimulus education dollars funding for education. Every year, the mid-year adjustment process equitably redistributes funds from schools that had less student need than projected at the beginning of the school year to schools that experienced greater need.
This year, schools will receive funding for any money they previously owed, including money they have already paid back, resulting in a restoration of over $130 million to almost 880 school budgets to help support them during these challenging times. Schools that received additional funding through the mid-year adjustment will still keep the full amount that was committed to them, which totals approximately $110 million for over 640 schools.
“With stimulus funding we can officially return money to schools that would be lost to the registration process. This means more money for teachers and tutoring as we reopen school buildings,” de Blasio said.
Every year, school budgets are adjusted to account for enrollment and need changes — this process ensures that funding follows the students and that we have equity across schools. School year 2020-21 enrollment projections were developed prior to the pandemic and did not account for COVID-driven enrollment fluctuations. Therefore, funding equivalent to 100 percent of each schools’ enrollment loss against their projections will be restored. Earlier this month, the administration announced a 25-percent restoration of school budgets impacted by the mid-year adjustment which totaled approximately $44 million.
“As a former principal, I know that holding schools harmless will be a huge relief for our school leaders and I’m thrilled we can do this after such a challenging time,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “This would not have been possible without support from our partners in the federal government and I’m so grateful for their shared commitment to our students, staff and school communities.”
The City has made record investments directly in schools to help keep communities safe, and this new restoration to school budgets that experienced pandemic-driven enrollment fluctuations will provide much needed relief. The funding can be used to address staffing needs, provide services for students such as after school tutoring and other direct academic services, and purchase supplies and materials.
As always, at any time during the school year, the DOE will work with schools that request additional funding and in recognition of additional staffing needs associated with COVID-19, the City said it is making regular adjustments to funding allocations to ensure schools have the necessary staffing support. This year, the administration also provided additional financial support to schools with demonstrated in-person staffing needs. This funding includes:
- $80 million to fund staffing needs
- $50 million in cleaning supplies and PPE
- $22 million for ventilation repairs, air purifiers, and partitions
- $10 million for the Situation Room
- $10 million for a planning grant to help prepare for the new school year
- $5.7 million for an increased contract nursing rate