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nyc public school system got billions more in funding since 2020 despite shrinking enrollment analysis
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NYC public school system got billions more in funding since 2020 despite shrinking enrollment: analysis

New York City’s public school system has received billions of dollars in additional funding since 2020 — despite enrollment cratering by nearly 100,000 students during that time, an analysis released Wednesday reveals. Per-student spending at K-12 Department of Education schools is expected to hit $39,304 in the upcoming fiscal year 2025 budget — a massive 26.3% increase, equating to $8,185 more per student since 2020, the “Did You Know” study by the Citizens Budget Commission found. Mayor Eric Adams proposed a 10.2% increase or $2.1 billion more in city taxpayer funding for the Big Apple public school system — which would mostly offset the $2.4 billion phase-out of federal pandemic aid given to DOE. Total DOE spending will be $269 million, or 0.7%, less than current funding levels. But the CBC analysis said, “Between fiscal years 2020 and 2025, spending climbed steadily as enrollment fell.” Total DOE expenditures are projected to reach $39.8 billion in fiscal year 2024, an increase of $5.2 billion, or 15.2 percent, since fiscal year 2020. City spending rose from $19.7 billion to $20.6 billion from 2020 to 2024, while state aid increased from $12.3 billion to $14.2 billion, according to the report. Federal funds funneled to the DOE jumped from $2.1 billion in 2020 to $4.6 billion in 2024. Enrollment plummeted precipitously during the COVID pandemic with the DOE losing 104,374 students between fiscal years 2020 and 2023. The city now projects an increase of 10,355 K-12 students this year and next, thanks in large part to the migrant influx. But DOE still has 94,019 fewer students than in the pre-COVID-19 era, the CBC report noted. During a City Council budget hearing on Wednesday, Council members made it clear they want to jack up education spending in the final negotiated budget with City Hall. The Council is pushing to boost spending on early education pre-K and 3-K programs by $170 million more than the mayor recommended. Education officials and the Council are awaiting a report that spells out where the demand is needed for early childhood education seats and where they are not. Councilwoman Rita Joseph (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the education committee, expressed concern about the more than $200 million gap — the loss of federal aid that was not replaced by city and state funding — in the DOE budget. “That’s significant,” she told Schools Chancellor David Banks, who testified at the hearing.

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