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Op-Ed: Why We’re Giving $50M to Charter Schools to Help Kids Catch Up After the Pandemic


School closures and inadequate remote instruction over the last two years have created a crisis in public education.

The data are clear. Across the United States, students have fallen behind by an average of four months in math and five months in English. The results have been even worse for those children most in need, especially in schools serving mainly low-income populations, where students have fallen behind by an average of seven months.

Make no mistake: This is a real crisis requiring immediate intervention. Unless urgent steps are taken, many children will never catch back up.

That’s why it’s so encouraging to see that Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks have wisely expanded Summer Rising, which offers academics in the morning and enrichment activities in the afternoon. The program will serve 110,000 students in grades K-8, up more than 10% from last year.

Given the extent of the crisis, the private sector and philanthropic groups must step up, too. So to build on the city’s efforts and increase access to summer classes, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kenneth C. Griffin, Stan Druckenmiller, the Carson Family Charitable Trust, Robin Hood, Gray Foundation and Walentas Foundation are committing $50 million to help charter schools create or expand summer-school programs this year. Through the initiative, called Summer Boost NYC, all the city’s elementary and middle charter schools can apply for funding to create and run high-quality programs.

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