The pandemic has changed the relationship between districts and their school communities. When it comes to how a district is using its federal relief funds, more than ever we’re finding that communities—and local media—are tuned in, with big expectations for how those big ESSER investments are getting students back on track. Leaders who communicate clearly, honestly, and often can build much-needed trust with their public and partners—from the teachers’ union and parents to advocacy groups and school boards. Smart communication on ESSER helps ensure all parties understand how and why spending decisions are made—not just what the decisions are in the district’s latest spending plan.
Here we map six ways leaders can communicate about and help make the most of their ESSER investments.