November 19, 2020
There are two main threads of nonprofit discontent with the decision to close New York City schools now that the test positivity rate has exceeded 3% citywide. The first concerns the indirect effects of school shutdowns on children; the second concerns how closures exacerbate existing problems for nonprofits.
Community-based organizations provide child care and other services for essential workers and families through programs like Learning Bridges. But unless the city provides more personal protective equipment, funding, space and expedited staff clearances, nonprofits say they will not be able to keep up with the new demand created by a school shutdown that will last through the Thanksgiving holiday.
“The city’s lack of planning for this scenario did not consider that Learning Bridges do not have the capacity to serve the volume of children identified as eligible for the program,” reads a statement from the Campaign for Children, which said it was not consulted before the decision to close schools. “The collateral damage from insufficient support and the city’s lack of inclusion of CBOs cannot be overstated.”