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A year ago, school districts got a windfall of pandemic aid. How’s that going?

BY debraabritt
Brown Center Chalkboard logo

Marguerite Roza and Katherine Silberstein
Published March 31, 2022 on Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings Institution

In 2021, Congress approved the largest-ever one-time investment in public education.

Marguerite Roza and Katherine Silberstein have modeled what would be a smooth drawdown on each of the three waves of ESSER funds given that each has a different start and expiration date.

At the start of 2022, districts were behind on this spending plan. With a use-it-or-lose-it expiration date of September 2024, the math speaks for itself: To spend the remaining funds, most districts need to up the pace at which money goes out the door each month. That also means that the higher spending levels will be followed by an even steeper fiscal cliff when the money ends.


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