School district cutting more than 200 jobs after revenue losses

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The Albany, N.Y., school district will cut 222 jobs because of revenue losses this year, according to local news outlet WRGB.

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The school district is facing a revenue loss of up to $25 million due to a lack of state and federal aid for the 2020-2021 school year related to the coronavirus pandemic, the district said in a Wednesday press release.

"It is going to change our district and it is not going to change our district for the better," Annie Savage, Albany's school board president told WRGB.

Teacher Marisa Wiezel (L), who is related to the photographer, and principal Alice Hom discuss plans for the 2020/2021 school year in Wiezel’s classroom at Yung Wing School. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

The state has started withholding 20 percent of most local funding, according to the district.

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As a result of these budget challenges, the school district announced changes for the 2020-2021 school year on the Aug. 27, including fully virtual classes for grades 7-12 rather than the in-person or hybrid options that were previously offered and as many other U.S. schools have done.

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Sixth-graders and elementary school students have the option to attend class either in-person or fully online five days a week, while pre-K students would attend fully in-person.

Teacher measuring desks for social distancing regulations (iStock)

"Schools with the highest needs will be hit the hardest," Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said, according to WRGB.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on July 13 that the state's schools could reopen as long as COVID-19 infection rates stay below 5 percent in any given region using a 14-day average. If a regional infection rate surpasses 9 percent using a 7-day average, schools must close.

State guidance for school reopenings includes required masks, social distancing and space restructuring, contact tracing.

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