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OVERVIEW: Plan Spending for Long-Term Sustainability

Four ways school systems can sustain their new ESSER investments over time

Public school systems across the country are planning how to invest huge influxes of one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund — targeting funds toward urgent academic and social-emotional recovery needs, as well as redesigning stronger, more equitable approaches to teaching and learning.

To ensure these changes are sustainable beyond the three-year ESSER funding period, leaders will need to both plan and invest with sustainability in mind. By carefully setting this foundation from the beginning, 2024-25 school district budgets will not only avoid a funding cliff, they will accommodate new, equity-focused ways of working that are more strategic, more effective, and more resilient than what districts were doing before the pandemic.

This overview brief highlights four key ways system leaders can sustain their new ESSER investments over time.

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