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With New Revenue Projections, State, K-12 Leaders Brace for the Worst

By Daarel Burnette II — April 01, 2020 1 min read

State leaders have a better picture now of how deep and widespread fiscal fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will be, and they’re warning many K-12 districts to prepare for the worst.

The impact on sales and income tax revenue of having so many workers laid off and holed up in their homes for weeks on end will vary from state to state and district to district.

But this week, several state analysts forecasted multi-million dollar cuts to state revenue next year.

New York, the epicenter of the Coronavirus, expects to lose $15 billion, more than 8 percent of its revenue. That’s almost twice as much as what the state projected two weeks ago.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said the state has already lost more than $40 million in tax revenue this fiscal quarter and ordered state agencies, including the state’s public school system, to cut 1 percent of their budgets. The state has one of the lowest K-12 per-student spending rates in the nation.

And in Georgia, the legislature this year already cut $159 million out of its $1.45 billion overall budget amid slowing revenue projections. Legislators there, who are on temporary recess, are already calling off a proposal to raise teacher pay, joining a growing list of states that have already done so.

Meanwhile, a growing list of urban, suburban and rural districts predict now that expenses will likely rise next year after students return to school having missed months and months of instruction.

They’re already coping with a growing list of costs this year, including paying janitors overtime to clean contaminated classrooms and purchasing new computers for students to participate in distance learning.

Read Education Week’s coverage of the fiscal impact of the Coronavirus here.