Special education pre-K classes. Summer Rising. Shelter-based staffers who help children get to school. Those are just some of the programs set to see their funding disappear in less than a year.

The city’s education department has in the last several years used $7 billion in temporary federal COVID-19 relief funding to help deal with problems that long pre-date the pandemic — and aren’t going away any time soon. But the funding will.

“The stakes are enormous, especially for the students who need the most support,” Randi Levine, the policy director of Advocates for Children, said.

What You Need To Know

  • The city's education department has spent $7 billion in federal stimulus money since the pandemic hit

  • The money is set to expire soon, but many of the programs it is funding are still needed, and are meant to address problems pre-dating the pandemic

  • That includes money for 3-K classes, preschool special education, Summer Rising, and more

“The Department of Education expects the funding to run dry by the end of June, and in any event the DOE only has until the end of September, just one year from now, to use up the funding or it goes away,” Levine added.

And that federal cash is being used to pay for programs Advocates for Children — along with 150 other organizations that have signed on to their call, say should not go away. That includes:

  • $456 million for 3-K classes
  • $96 million for preschool special education
  • $80 million for Summer Rising
  • $67 million to hire 450 school social workers
  • $9 million for shelter-based coordinators

And much more.

“Elected leaders at all levels need to grapple with this problem and look at every funding source and see what they can do to get additional funding to sustain these programs going forward,” Levine said.

Schools Chancellor David Banks says it’s too soon to give specifics on how the city will deal with the cash drying up.

“You will hear from us on it in the next couple of weeks or so with very, very clearly laid out — this is where we are and this is where we think we have to make the adjustments,” he told NY1 during a press availability following his State of Our Schools speech Wednesday.

Compounding the concern: Mayor Adams has said city agencies will need to cut budgets by 5% in November -- with the potential for another 5% in January, and another 5% in April, which Banks says will require tough decisions.

“I think any time you're talking about cuts of this magnitude it’s going to impact some of the programs we have in place,” Banks said.

“The threat posed by the loss of this temporary federal funding existed before the mayor’s recent announcement of budgets to the New York City DOE,” Levine said. “We’re even more concerned now.”