New York schools should review how they are spending federal pandemic aid to help students after data found student performance in the state dropped significantly between 2019 and 2022, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Monday said.
DiNapol's office released a review of the federal data showing the declining in student performance coinciding with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with math proficiency rates among students in grade 4 dropping across all demographics.
“The classroom disruptions caused by the pandemic have hurt New York’s students. Academic losses were greater for younger students, with fourth grade scores dropping more than the national average,” DiNapoli said. “School districts must act quickly to take full advantage of available resources to help students that are most in need get caught up, before time runs out.”
Schools in New York have received a $15 billion infusion of federal aid on an emergency basis. Schools also received $14 billion over three funding rounds. That money must be spent by September 2024, and so far about 40% of the moeny has been spent.
Remote learning, along with the lack of socialization and the overall stress of the last three years have made for a raft of complications for schools. The added money for schools was meant to help with learning loss as well as the mental health challenges that arose during the pandemic.
At the state level, Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed a combined $42.1 billion in state and federal aid for schools, with the largest boost proposed in direct aid for schools in history.