District Finance Leads2022-12-15T18:12:11+00:00
Leading district finances during a time of financial turmoil

School districts are deciding how to spend the largest-ever one-time federal investment in public education, following a school year that brought a host of challenges that landed unevenly on schools, children, and families across the country. We’re compiling resources to help leaders navigate the opportunities and challenges involved in making decisions about how to use these highly flexible funds. Those who spend the time to compute costs, identify desired outcomes, involve their communities and are nimble along the way will have the most to show for it.

You can use this cost equivalent worksheet with your finance teams, with school leaders and in community conversations to gather “meaningful” input on spending priorities.

Cost Equivalent Activity Worksheet

What we are learning

6 Tips for Communicating About ESSER Investments
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Spending COVID-Relief Funds
5 Ways Principals Can Make ARP $ Matter More
‘Meaningful Consultation’ on School Budgets
30-Minute Webinar Series
Tracker: ESSER $s for Students with Disabilities
How will enrollment losses impact your district’s finances?
MoEquity: Big Implications for District Budgeting
Adding Learning Time Without Breaking the Bank
Investing Dollars Differently to Meet Students’ Needs

Resources from Our District Finance Network

Beginning with the financial turmoil in early 2020, the topics range from early projections of state and district economic outlooks to strategic budget cutting and stakeholder communications, the impacts of enrollment shifts and learning loss on district finances, and the implications of massive federal relief funds for K-12.

View Meeting Topics and Slides

Big picture takeaways

Key Qs to Ensure Wise Spending of Relief Funds
Using the ‘Would You Rather’ Test to Explore Spending Tradeoffs
How to Talk About Money
Avoiding Financial Missteps

Understanding ESSER

We’ve compiled resources to help district leaders understand the full scope of ESSER funding, including requirement and flexibilities, how much every district received in per-pupil terms, and where to track spending decisions across the country.

Learn More About ESSER

Stay updated on our work!

Our monthly newsletter shares new research and timely tools, invitations to upcoming trainings and webinars, and insights into what’s happening across the world of ed finance.


Get smarter on using financial data with Georgetown University’s Certificate in Education Finance

This interactive course is designed to help district leaders and their finance teams, board members, school principals, and others leverage funds to do the most for students in a way that is financially sustainable, transparent, and equitable.

Participants engage in hands-on experiences navigating competing financial pressures, explore current fiscal and other data to inform choices, and practice strategies to engage their communities and build trust.

Contact Jordan.Tollefson@georgetown.edu with any questions or to inquire about bringing your district team.

Learn More