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    COVID Funding Is Ending For Schools. What Will it Mean for Students?

    en-usJune 09, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Federal pandemic funding for public schoolsFederal pandemic funding was crucial for public schools to address unique challenges of remote learning and societal issues, providing targeted tutoring, extra teacher support, and resources for students' emotional needs. However, with funding coming to an end, schools may face layoffs or ending initiatives, potentially impacting teachers the most.

      The emergency relief funds distributed by the federal government during the pandemic were essential for public schools to address the unique challenges posed by remote learning and the societal issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Principal Peyton Chapman from Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, shared how her school used the funds to provide targeted tutoring, extra support for teachers, and resources for students' emotional needs. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho of the Los Angeles Unified School District echoed these sentiments, stating that the additional funds helped students catch up. However, as the funding comes to an end, schools will need to reassess their programming and may face layoffs or ending certain initiatives. Teachers, who have been working tirelessly, may be particularly affected. The pandemic era funding made a significant difference, but with its conclusion, schools will need to find new ways to support their students.

    • After effects of pandemic on schoolsDespite over $1 trillion in emergency funding, schools face ongoing challenges such as learning loss and mental health issues as they try to adapt to the after-effects of the pandemic

      While over $1 trillion in emergency education funding from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped schools maintain operations and provide additional resources, much of this money will be exhausted by the next school year. This leaves educators and policymakers in a challenging position as students continue to face the after-effects of the pandemic and try to regain lost ground. The situation is complex, with some schools reporting a return to normalcy while also grappling with ongoing issues such as learning loss and mental health challenges. Matt Barnum, an education reporter at The Wall Street Journal, explains, "The after effects of the pandemic, of school closures, of the various things that happened after 2020 linger in schools, and we see that in the data." Despite the challenges, Barnum remains optimistic that schools will find ways to adapt and continue providing the best possible education for their students.

    • COVID relief funding cliff for K-12 educationThe loss of over $200 billion in COVID relief funding for K-12 education could negatively impact students' academic progress and attendance, as schools struggle to make up for this significant portion of their typical education spending.

      The upcoming loss of over $200 billion in COVID relief funding for K-12 education could significantly impact students' academic progress and attendance, especially since they are still recovering from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. This funding, which started in 2020 and culminated in the American Rescue Plan in 2021, gave schools discretion on how to spend it, with a requirement that at least 20% went towards learning loss recovery. However, the full extent of the financial implications of this funding cliff is uncertain, as it represents a significant portion of the typical education spending. Educators are concerned about how they will make up for this loss and continue to address the academic and attendance challenges facing their students.

    • COVID-19 K-12 education funding impactDespite $200B spent on K-12 education during COVID-19, uncertainty remains on its impact, with positive reports on math progress and small class sizes, but concerns about learning losses and disruption, and lacking definitive evidence on ROI, especially for low-income students.

      There is uncertainty regarding the impact of the $200 billion spent on K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many educators report positive effects, such as catching students up on math or maintaining small class sizes, concerns remain about potential learning losses and the disruption caused by layoffs and potential school closures. However, definitive evidence on the return on investment is lacking, and the academic progress of students, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds, continues to lag. The distribution of funds favored high-poverty school districts, but the challenges they face remain significant. The full extent of the impact of this funding on school performance is still unclear.

    • Funding cuts for struggling schoolsStruggling schools, already facing academic challenges due to the pandemic, risk further academic setbacks due to potential funding cuts, which could widen the achievement gap.

      Schools and students facing greater academic challenges due to the pandemic are also at risk for the most significant funding cuts, potentially leaving them further behind academically. Matt Barnum of The Wall Street Journal discussed this issue, explaining that students in these schools have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, academically and otherwise. However, as this funding disappears, these students may face even more disruptions and could fall further behind. It's essential to recognize the long-standing test score gaps and address the potential consequences of these funding cuts.

    • Wild Card podcast topicsThe Wild Card podcast offers an unpredictable listening experience through drawn cards that determine conversation topics, keeping the conversation fresh and lively.

      NPR's Wild Card podcast offers an engaging and unpredictable listening experience where the conversation is determined by drawn cards. Each episode features two guests, and the cards dictate the topics they discuss. This unique format keeps the conversation fresh and lively, making for an entertaining and thought-provoking listen. It's a great way to discover new perspectives on a variety of subjects, and the unexpected nature of the conversation keeps listeners coming back for more. So, join NPR for an adventure in conversation with the Wild Card podcast!

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