CSBA to release report documenting school use of COVID relief funding
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 15, 2022) —
The California School Boards Association today released a preview of the association’s intensive analysis of how school districts and county offices of education are spending COVID relief funds. This initial data was shared with members of Congress, the Vice President’s Office and top staffers at Cabinet-level departments including the Department of Education.
The full report includes an analysis of the expenditure reports from all school districts and county offices of education that received federal aid and will be released on July 6.
Read the report preview here
The report will reveal answers to hotly debated questions, specifically:
- Is COVID relief funding being spent at an acceptable pace?
- How are the relief funds being spent?
- What are the challenges to allocation and implementation of COVID relief funds?
- What advocacy can CSBA undertake to facilitate implementation?
While there have been concerns in the media about local educational agencies not spending COVID relief funds, the federal expenditure reports and responses from a CSBA survey of superintendents present a clear rebuke of that assessment and demonstrate that:
- LEAs are aggressively spending down the initial funding relief packages and are almost finished with their ESSER I allocations.
- Districts were intentional in responding to rapidly changing conditions brought on by the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Flexibility on spending rules is critical so LEAs have the ability to change course to meet the shifting needs of students, staff and community.
- School districts and county offices of education have not been able to invest everywhere they would like because of factors beyond their control, such as supply chain issues or an inability to find candidates for a range of certificated and classified positions.
- Expenditures are also constrained by issues including:
- concern over the sustainability of investments made with one-time COVID relief funds
- the potential for burnout when asking teachers and staff to take on new programmatic responsibilities
The California Department of Education is expected to release the first state COVID relief expenditure reports in the coming weeks. CSBA will then provide the same deep analysis and release a state COVID relief spending report in August.
A comprehensive report including state and federal COVID relief spending and responses from the superintendent survey to provide commentary and context will also be released later this summer.
CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.