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New York City’s school system went on a spending spree during the pandemic, thanks to the $7.5 billion in federal money it received as part of a $189 billion national relief package aimed at addressing education problems incurred by lockdowns and school closures.
Although the funds were nonrecurring, the nation’s largest school district used some of the money for enduring budget items and programs, including hiring 500 social workers, opening new bilingual programs, and expanding summer learning centers.
Now, the district faces a “fiscal cliff,” a situation in which spending creates budgetary needs in the future after a financial windfall is depleted.
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