As school districts across the country grapple with declining enrollments induced by the pandemic, many are engaged in spending sprees like those of the past leading to widespread layoffs and budget cuts when federal money ran out.
Bolstered by $190 billion in pandemic relief funding from Washington, the nation’s public schools are hiring new teachers and staff, raising salaries, and sweetening benefit packages. Some are buying new vehicles. Others are building theaters and sports facilities.
Using such temporary support for new staff and projects with long-term costs is setting the table for perilous “fiscal cliffs” after COVID funding expires in 2024, some education budget analysts say. And that’s on top of doubts about whether money to battle the pandemic is being properly spent in the first place.
Baltimore plans to spend $90.4 million of federal funds to buy hotels to replace existing homeless shelters and support other homelessness programs, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.
The city has not yet announced which hotels it will buy, but it plans to replace 275 existing beds in several shelters with private rooms in city-owned hotels, the Sun reported.
“Non-congregate shelter is a best practice we’re seeing throughout the nation,” Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Irene Agustin told the Sun. “We know this is an intervention that’s going to work within the city of Baltimore.”
Governors from 15 states are sounding the alarm over an executive order issued by President Joe Biden tasking his administration to “conserve” 30% of all land and water in the U.S. by 2030.
Known as the “30 x 30 plan,” the directive is part of a United Nations Agenda 2030 land and sustainable development goal, which directs nations to conserve land and water to combat climate change.
Biden refers to the policy as part of the United State’s acceptance of rejoining the Paris Agreement, a deal former President Donald Trump pulled out of.
Albion College recently announced its selection for the 2021 Common Reading Experience: “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. The Richard M. Smith Common Reading Experience is a mandatory program for all first-year students.
According to the school’s website, “all of Albion’s first-year students read a shared text that serves both to connect students to one another and to help them make the important shift from high school to college.”
In an email addressed to the Albion Community on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the Common Reading Experience (CRE) Taskforce revealed that it had chosen the book for the first-year mandatory curriculum.