According to FutureEd, an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, three priorities have emerged in school district (and charter organization) spending of current funding: academic recovery, staffing, and school facilities and operations. Almost a year ago, Congress approved $122 billion in Covid relief aid for elementary and secondary education through the American Rescue Plan.
The analysis, the first to detail the way relief money is flowing through local education agencies, examines spending plans from 3,056 school districts and charter organizations educating 60 percent of the nation’s public-school students.
The plans, compiled by the data-services firm Burbio, show that local education authorities have assigned a dollar figure to about $50 billion of the $67 billion in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds they are due to receive. FutureEd broke down the $50 billion in designated spending into seven major categories and a number of subcategories.
The spending trends suggest that localities could spend more than $31 billion in ESSER III funds on academic interventions, according to FutureEd; $25 billion on teachers and staff, and $26 billion on school facilities and operations by the September 2024 deadline for spending the money. Learn more.