Public school districts across the country are facing extensive funding shortfalls as fewer students remain enrolled in public schools and the pandemic's economic fallout affects tax revenue taken in by municipal and state governments.
Dallas saw 4% fewer students enrolled in its public schools in October, which could lead to $21 million in lost funding if the governor does not extend a policy that has maintained funding to schools despite enrollment drops.
Neighboring Fort Worth has seen a 6% enrollment drop, which could amount to a loss of $50 million.
Similar numbers are challenging Tucson, Arizona, where 5% of students have not returned and could bring a $15 million funding drop.
Other cities must contend with similar challenges even as many districts are shelling out money for expenses they have not faced before, such as COVID-19 testing and equipment and resources for virtual learning.
The latest COVID-19 relief package, approved by Congress Monday night, provides $54 billion for for schools. At least several experts say that amount is not enough to confront all the challenges public schools are facing.