ESSR Spending Commentary

Leading Educators Featured in The 74

Schools Must Know If Their Learning-Loss Programs Work — Before ESSER Funds End

Malipatil: 3 years after COVID began, it’s time to assess whether dollars spent have made a difference, and what they should be used for going forward

June 8, 2023 | The 74

Newsletters – The 74

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the federal government has provided nearly $190 billion in education funding to states and districts.

The three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding represent the largest infusion of federal funds in history for reopening schools, updating buildings and supporting learning recovery. Anu Malipatil argues that now, over three years later, is the time to assess whether the dollars have made a difference, and what they should be spent on going forward.

Malipatil says evidence of impact is particularly important. “This makes now the ideal time for nonprofits to invest in developing evidence that shows their product works, and for districts to make such impact nonnegotiable when deciding what to bring into their schools.”

She continues,

I’ve seen firsthand the benefits that a focus on evidence has for students and organizations. Nonprofits…such as Leading Educators…have made evidence-building and continuous improvement a priority over the past several years, conducting rigorous evaluations to ensure the product they offer districts improve student outcomes and are affordable.”

She calls on school systems to prioritize evidence to improve the chances that all students receive the best possible education going forward, regardless of budgetary constraints.

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