The full financial impact of COVID-19 is now unfolding for school districts, and it is a story of much more than PPE, hand sanitizer, and laptops. Looking ahead at the bigger picture, we see that the magnitude of cost pressures to come will far outweigh even the costs that districts have incurred to date. Particularly for large, urban school districts, COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated the “triple squeeze” of rising costs, declining revenue, and greater student need — challenges that districts were contending with even before the pandemic struck.
In this brief, we discuss our emerging perspectives on the long-term financial impacts of COVID-19 and implications for education leaders at all levels. This framework and early analysis can be used as a starting point for the field to engage in ongoing dialogue about each component of the challenge and to identify the actions needed from district, state, and federal leaders to turn a year of crisis into a moment for meaningful transformation.
Along with the brief, we have created a calculator tool that allows users to calculate the cost of up to 4 academic strategies using a time and attention framework as well as calculate the cost of an additional strategy dedicated to SEL. It comes pre-populated with our estimates from the paper. This calculator can be used by schools and districts for determining ESSER funding strategies, and we will have a dedicated ESSER calculator soon!