Schools in New York are receiving billions of dollars in additional funding from the state and federal government, putting education officials in a position they are not often accustomed to: being flush with cash.

But the new money also comes with unprecedented challenges for students and teachers following a devastating pandemic and a push for racial justice across the country.

To that end, a coalition of groups on Monday called for a bolstering of programming in schools to aid students in a full-time return to the classroom. The effort, led by the Education Trust-NY, called for investments in academic supports, improving access to advanced course work and support for kids with specialized needs.

The groups also called for additional support for teachers, such as expanding efforts to promote diversity and retention among faculty, priorities for culturally responsive education and investing in mental health support with counselors, psychologists and grief counselors in schools.

“These new resources give New York State the opportunity to rebuild an education system that is stronger and more equitable than before the pandemic,” said Dia Bryant, interim executive director of The Education Trust–New York. “It is crucial that state and local leaders use these resources to address the systemic racism and persistent inequities that for too long have been entrenched in our education system. We owe it to our students, our families and our communities.”