Budgets Limit Social Distancing Choices for Some Schools
Schools across the country are considering how and when to reopen their buildings as they plan measures to control the coronavirus.
Many school officials are worried about the costs of operating under social distancing guidelines. Such costs include protective equipment, additional teachers for smaller classes and more transportation to keep students spread out on bus rides.
These costs are frightening for urban school systems, which are under financial pressure. They say they do not have enough money or space to make classes smaller.
In Hartford, Connecticut, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is very worried about how to pay for additional teachers. She said that now each classroom must have fewer students and social distancing is required.
In some grades, she said, she has individual teachers with as many as 27 students in their classrooms.
"My budget would be nonexistent," she said.
Many schools are developing plans for at least some distance learning, but many are worried about the cost.
Camden is one of New Jersey's poorest cities.Superintendent Katrina McCombs said costs for classroom cleaning and protective equipment are a concern for her. That is because the city depends on the state government for money. For the next two years, New Jersey predicts it will face a budget deficit of$10 billion.
New Jersey has not yet produced rules for the reopening of schools. McCombs said she hopes the governor gives urban areas like Camden a lot of choices. She added that many of her students live with families that have more than one generation in the same house. These are at high-risk for infection.
"...I would hope that as the governor is rolling out those recommendations, they can take those...factors into consideration," she said.
The School Superintendents Association (AASA) and the Association of School Business Officials International say making social distancing possible in schools will be costly. The Virginia-based groups estimate that it will cost the average school system about $1.8 million. However, most schools are expecting budget cuts because of the weak economy.
"You have a significant increase in costs for school districts at a time when school districts are going to have less money," said Dan Domenech. He is executive director of AASA.
Alexa Garvey is a school board chairwoman in the town of Stonington, Connecticut. She said it would cut costs if the state ended a rule for the summer that there should be only one student on each seat of a bus.The seats normally fit two children. She also had some other questions.
"Does every child need a mask?" she asked. "What are our obligations to supplying those masks?"
Some schools have fewer problems.
In the wealthy town of Greenwich, Connecticut, the school system has 12.2 students for every teacher. To keep up social distancing when buildings reopen, Superintendent Toni Jones has said they will have enough open spaces in their buildings to spread out the classes.
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5.To keep up social distancing when buildings reopen, Superintendent Toni Jones has said they will have enough open spaces in their buildings to spread out the classes.
spread out 展开
Factory buildings spread out over the hillside.
The news of shipwreck soon spread out widely.
6.To keep up social distancing when buildings reopen, Superintendent Toni Jones has said they will have enough open spaces in their buildings to spread out the classes.
keep up 保持
Things are changing so fast, it's hard to keep up.
Life is tough for kids who aren't keeping up in school.
许多学校官员担心，根据社交隔离方针进行运营的成本 。这些费用包括防护装备、小班授课的额外教师，以及更多交通工具以确保学生乘车时保持间隔 。
这些成本让面临着资金压力的市区学校系统感到担忧 。他们表示，没有足够资金或教室来缩小班级规模 。
在康涅狄格州哈特福德市，校监莱斯利·托雷斯·罗德里格斯（Leslie Torres-Rodriguez）正在发愁如何支付新增教师的工资 。她说，现在要求每个教室必须减少学生数量并保持社交距离 。
卡姆登是新泽西州最贫穷的城市之一 。校监卡特里娜·麦康布斯表示，她担心教室清洁和防护设备的费用 。这是因为这座城市主要靠州政府拨款 。新泽西州预测未来两年将面临100亿美元的预算赤字 。
新泽西州尚未制定重新开放学校的规定 。麦康布斯表示，她希望州长能给卡姆登这样的城市提供多个选择 。她还表示，她的许多学生家里几代人住在一起 。这样感染风险很高 。
美国学校管理者联合会和国际学校商务官员协会表示，在学校中实行社交隔离代价高昂 。这家总部位于弗吉尼亚的组织估计，普通学校系统将耗费约180万美元 。然而，由于经济疲软，大多数学校都希望削减预算 。
丹·多梅内克表示：“在学区获得的资金减少的当口，学区的成本反而将大幅增加 。”他是美国学校管理者联合会的执行董事 。
爱丽莎·加维是康涅狄格州斯托宁顿镇的一位学校董事会主席 。她说，如果州政府取消夏季每个汽车座位上只能坐一名学生的规定，就能降低成本 。这些座位通常可以容纳两个孩子 。她还提出了其它问题 。
在康涅狄格州富裕的格林威治小镇，学校系统中每12.2名学生配备了一名教师 。为了在学校开放时保持社交距离，校监托尼·琼斯表示，他们学校里有足够的开阔空间让各个班级分散开 。