BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On December 31st, Virtual Learning Centers will take a massive hit to their funding. That's because Erie County's Federal Coronavirus relief money expires that day, and virtual learning centers are largely funded by that cash.
"If the virtual learning is discontinued, the children fail, the parents fail, the day cares fail, as a whole we all fail," Latrice Martin, director at a virtual learning center in Buffalo, said.
Virtual Learning Centers give students supervised space to learn remotely while their parents are working. They have become crucial during the pandemic which is why the Buffalo Parent Teachers Organization is asking Western New York companies to step up and help fund these centers.
"We're calling on leaders from our private sector, our big local businesses and local philanthropic community to step up," Whitney Crispell, a Buffalo Public Schools mom said.
If private funding does come to Virtual Learning Centers it would have to arrive quickly. Buffalo Public Schools are anticipated to start in-person learning again in February of 2021, so for a month there could be no learning centers.