(The Center Square) - The Salt Lake City school district projects a nearly $40 million deficit next school year despite a large injection of federal pandemic relief money over the past few years.
The district has seen a steady decrease in enrollment over the past five years while instructional costs have continued to rise.
To address the deficit, Salt Lake City school district Superintendent Timothy Gadson said the district will have to cut 76 teacher positions to "right-size the district."
Total revenue for the school district increased from $304.6 million in 2018-19 to a projected $325.4 million in 2022-23. However, the district states it will overspend by $39.9 million next school year.
In 2018-19, before the pandemic, the district received $26.2 million in federal funding. The federal funding has increased to $35.2 million and $47.6 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.
The district projects to get another $33.6 million in federal money in 2022-23.
Instruction costs have increased from $140.1 million in 2018-19 to a projected $168.5 million in 2022-23. The district's median teacher wage has increased from $54,943 in 2012 to $68,784 in 2020, the last year data is available.
The Salt Lake City school district did not respond to emails requesting comment.