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Education Funding Letter to the Editor

Student Need Should Drive Outlay of Federal Dollars

March 17, 2021 1 min read
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To the Editor:

The worries of some policymakers about the pace of education stimulus spending is potentially harmful to an effective school recovery and redesign effort postpandemic (“Concern About Unspent COVID-19 School Aid Continues as Congress Moves Toward More Relief,” Feb. 24, 2021).

My colleagues and I have been partnering with school districts across the country on how best to use resources in this crisis, including the federal stimulus dollars coming their way. The need we are seeing right now for substantial, transparent funding is like nothing we have seen before. To aggressively respond to vastly greater student need next school year, schools and districts need to make big resource commitments now—but they can’t do so without confidence that the funding will be there.

The recovery effort will be a multiyear one, so we must place a premium on making revenue commitments in the short term so that districts can make informed decisions for the long term. Significant learning recovery efforts demand considerable advanced planning.

We should measure the need for federal dollars not by the rate of expenditure but instead by the depth and breadth of student need.

Jonathan Travers
Education Resource Strategies
Watertown, Mass.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 17, 2021 edition of Education Week as Student Need Should Drive Outlay of Federal Dollars


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