As we enter year two of the Covid era of education in America, the focus is shifting from emergency response to recovery. Those local recovery plans in K-12 education will be fueled in large part by an unprecedented level of new federal spending, totaling $190 billion.
Polls show that most parents don’t want this money used simply for a return to normal but instead to ensure their children return to something better than before. And with good reason. On the eve of the pandemic, for example, just 35% of fourth-grade students were proficient in reading. Success can’t be just returning to a level that left two-thirds of children without basic skills.
This memo aims to provide the key facts and figures about this federal influx of funding, as well as the principles and policy recommendations grounded in our best thinking on how to meet this opportunity with a new future in mind.