New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report this month examining the pandemic-related fiscal stress faced by school districts in the 2020-21 academic year.
DiNapoli says 23 school districts were in some level of fiscal stress last year. His report states that factors such as school closures, threat of aid cuts, staff layoffs, and changing COVID-19 protocols led to significant financial uncertainty for school in 2020-21, according to the Albany Times-Union.
Only two districts were identified by the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System as being in “significant fiscal stress”- Ramapo in Rockland County and Newfield in Tompkins County. The monitoring system does not include the “Big Four” city school districts of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers in its data.
DiNapoli said state and federal aid helped mitigate some of the financial stress caused by the pandemic, but warns the state’s property tax cap will stifle growth for school districts by 2% next year.
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