Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat has written an excellent and accessible summary of how the Biden Administration is proposing the $130 billion earmarked for schools in its extremely-likely-to-pass stimulus package be used.
And it sounds amazing!
It will be an average of $2,600 per public school student, but that’s an average. High-poverty schools will get more – it will be allotted using Title 1 formulas.
Twenty percent has to be used to deal with what many are referring to as “learning loss” (see TRYING TO BRING RESEARCH, SANITY, TEACHER EXPERTISE & STUDENT VOICE TO THE “LEARNING LOSS” DISCUSSION).
The other eighty-percent appears to be able to be spent on pretty much anything.
This pot of money offers an incredible opportunity for districts.
Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, the pandemic has made transparent the lack of competent leadership found at many districts throughout the country.
I wonder how many have started talking with their local teachers’ unions, students and families about how to effectively and creatively use these funds (see Teacher: What’s missing from calls for summer school to stem ‘learning loss’).
I’m betting not many have…
In fact, our own district appears to be focused on making cuts to student services.
As we said during my community organizing career, “Power never accepts a vacuum.”
It seems to me that local administrators, teachers, unions, families and students might want to immediately begin to organize and develop proposals on how to use these monies and start presenting them to districts and the local media.
If we don’t, we probably will need to not complain as much if and when our districts screw things up.