Marguerite Roza suggests keeping an eye on six critical issues during this spring's district budget discussions, as decisions made there will determine what happens on teacher layoffs, school closings, program cuts, and more.
Higher spending in the final months of ESSER makes for deeper cuts come the 2024-25 school year, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes. Meanwhile, students are still far behind where they should be.
For schools to improve their services and respond to student needs, it’s important to be precise about the exact staffing challenges they face, writes Chad Aldeman at The 74.
Some school districts are flush with cash, but can’t find enough people to fill their open roles. In this Education Week commentary Chad Aldeman asks: what if schools engage families to help make headway on student recovery efforts?
Getting maximum value from available dollars is imperative, and may require some changes to the traditional budget process, writes Marguerite Roza in School Business Affairs Magazine.
What caused the decline in teacher-preparation enrollments and completions? Until we diagnose the problem accurately, we won’t be able to devise solutions to fix it, writes Chad Aldeman in Education Next.
Data-free schooling means the system can’t learn as it goes and improve on what it does. It means students aren’t getting the full value from the nation’s investment in public schooling, write Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman. What can be done to chip away at this data desert?
Schools in 46 states effectively lowered their teacher-student ratios by continuing to hire while enrollment has dropped, writes Chad Aldeman at The 74.
When districts break out of deeply ingrained expenditure habits, it's a big deal. Roza & Silberstein share four financial practices that emerged during the pandemic that we hope will last.
State and district leaders could simultaneously reduce retirement costs and improve benefits for teachers, writes Chad Aldeman.
A lack of school board financial expertise is especially problematic as members wrestle with the pressures of enrollment declines, inflation, and the temporary nature of federal relief funds, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes.
New Learning Loss Calculator Estimates COVID Slide, Costs of Catching Kids Up, in 8,000 School Districts
The Edunomics Lab team used the results from new research to build a calculator tool that estimates lost learning time in more than 8,000 school districts and what it will cost to get students back on track. In this commentary published by The 74, the authors urge district leaders to take stock of where their students are, and invest federal relief dollars now in ways that work for students.
In this New York Daily News op ed, Chad Aldeman argues that across-the-board class size caps in New York City may not benefit all students and will limit other spending that might be more effective, for example on extracurriculars or counselors or higher salaries for teachers.
What Are Districts Using Their Federal Relief Money for? How Fast Are They Spending It? How Much Is Left? New Interactive Database Has Answers
Because Congress directed federal relief funds to flow through states, districts file for reimbursement as the funds go out the door. In an analysis published by The 74, the Edunomics Lab team shares early results of tracking the actual spending data, district by district.
With contract negotiations pending and federal relief funds complicating the labor market, how can school districts respond to rising inflation pressures? In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza suggests options to help mitigate long-term fiscal impacts.
In this article in School Business Affairs Magazine, the authors outline the types of innovative compensation strategies some districts are using to attract and retain talent in response to a tight labor market.
In this Houston Chronicle op ed, Jessica Swanson and Marguerite Roza urge the Houston school board to take the time to ensure a full public vetting of the superintendent's proposal to centralize school funding.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza and Katherine Silberstein look at the magnitude of federal relief fund spending and conclude that districts need to up the pace at which money goes out the door each month.
Marguerite Roza explores the gap in financial training for aspiring K-12 education leaders and suggests ways that higher education can improve its offerings.
Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza map six ways district leaders can communicate about and help make the most of their ESSER investments.
Marguerite Roza discusses how school districts should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to improve student outcomes
In an interview with Jude Schwalbach at Reason Foundation, Marguerite Roza urges leaders to stay laser-focused on the federal relief funds’ true purpose: ameliorating learning loss and getting kids back on track.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why every education leader should care about what happened to Julia Keleher.
Shifting the focus from what districts are purchasing with ESSER funds to what progress students are making would be a game changer, writes Marguerite Roza in The 74.
There Is No ‘Big Quit’ in K-12 Education. But Schools Have Specific Labor Challenges That Need Targeted Solutions
There is no 'Big Quit' in K-12 education. But schools have specific labor challenges that need targeted solutions, writes Chad Aldeman in The 74.
Congress attached few strings to federal relief funds and will have to trust school districts to spend the money wisely. Chad Aldeman writes in Forbes that the Feds could now help clarify what the money was for by focusing on the student outcomes that matter most.
With $190 billion in federal relief funds going to schools, Marguerite Roza shares likely spending mistakes districts will make and some prescriptions for how to prevent them.
Sharing a portion of federal relief funds with families offers school districts a chance to re-engage students and parents and sends a message that they are valued partners in solving problems that directly affect them, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes.
In an interview with Rick Hess, Marguerite Roza shares her take on how school district leaders can spend COVID-19 aid wisely and well.
Education finance is a messy topic for journalists, and this last year has made it especially hard to neatly summarize the issues. Chad Aldeman cautions that reporters who focus exclusively on questions of scarcity may perpetuate a false narrative and miss the biggest education finance story of the last decade: How are district leaders spending their new financial windfalls, and what effect is it having on students?
While the infusion of federal relief aid has temporarily protected most school districts from the fiscal impact of enrollment losses, this article in School Business Affairs magazine highlights why it's important to proactively plan now for how to maintain services once those supplemental funds are gone.
Existing Federal Provisions Can – If Given Appropriate Attention – Advance Within-District Financial Equity
Four existing federal provisions have potential, if made a priority, to work together to foster within-district financial equity, write Marguerite Roza and Hannah Jarmolowski.
From Paying Parents to Transport Their Kids to School to Calling Out the National Guard — Innovating in the Face of a Bus Driver Shortage
How districts react to unusual labor challenges like the bus driver shortage may tell us whether they can adapt to meet the moment and which, if any, will consider adopting innovations common in industries outside of education.
Rather than making long-term commitments that can lead to financial stress down the road, Chad Aldeman suggests there are other ways for districts to both raise pay and build capacity.
Chad Aldeman and Marguerite Roza explain how an expansive interpretation of a new federal provision could have unintended consequences.
Marguerite Roza and Laura Anderson map five ways principals can help make the most of the American Rescue Plan dollars, in a blog published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Will the American Rescue Plan’s ‘Meaningful Consultation’ Requirement Usher in Community Participation in School Budgets?
In Forbes, Marguerite Roza writes that the federal requirement for “meaningful consultation” on the use of ARP funds sounds like a call for participatory budgeting, and wonders whether it could prompt a new level of civic engagement in school spending.
In this Forbes commentary, Chad Aldeman explains how the American Recovery Plan differs from past federal relief efforts for schools, and what that means for state and district leaders looking to make these one-time dollars count.
Marguerite Roza offers six tips for reporters on covering how school districts choose to spend $122 billion in flexible American Rescue Plan funds, the biggest onetime federal payout to schools ever.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza and Jessica Swanson suggest that districts give a portion of federal relief dollars directly to schools to decide how best to spend on behalf of their students.
Across Washington state, public schools retained a higher percentage of teachers last year than they do in normal years. That's important information for school district leaders as they decide how to spend the windfall of federal relief funds headed their way.
Adding staff has been the main “big bet” in public education for decades. With new federal relief aid heading to schools, will district leaders meet the moment with new and different ideas for what students need now?
By Paying Stipends to Schools’ Teaching Staff, Districts Can Add Learning Time Without Breaking the Bank
In this commentary at The 74, Chad Aldeman shows how offering current teachers stipends to take on more hours could provide students with additional learning time without locking districts into long-term financial obligations.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman suggest that it's a good time for leaders to employ the classic "would you rather" test to help explore spending tradeoffs and think through the cost and value of competing investments.
In this Forbes commentary, Marguerite Roza proposes a way for the federal government to provide student debt relief while putting SS/Medicare back on a financially sustainable path.
Remote or in Person? Underspending or Running Deficits? What School Reopening Decisions Mean for District Budgets
An Edunomics Lab analysis finds that while many districts are struggling financially, those that have remained mostly or entirely virtual have actually been able to save money. Some are even on pace to run surpluses this year.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Chad Aldeman digs into BLS data to find that recent public education job losses stem from a slowdown in hiring, not layoffs or a surge in worker turnover.
Lessons from Spanish Flu — Babies Born in 1919 Had Worse Educational, Life Outcomes Than Those Born Just Before or After. Could That Happen With COVID-19?
Chad Aldeman shares an analysis of the life trajectories of babies born during the Spanish Flu, and possible implications for the economic impacts of COVID-19.
This article in School Business Affairs magazine illuminates the critical need to develop district leaders' strategic finance skills.
How Federal Education Aid Can Tackle The K-Shaped Learning Recovery: Let’s start with $3000 Per Disengaged Student.
In this op-ed, Marguerite Roza proposes a separate, flexible sum targeted at helping students for whom pandemic schooling isn't working.
In this blog, Marguerite Roza discusses efforts to make new school-by-school spending data easier to find, interpret, and use.
In this Education Next article, Marguerite Roza and Hannah Jarmolowski share how state leaders can address budget shortfalls without making disproportionate cuts to high-poverty districts.
In this invited commentary for The 74, Marguerite Roza and Katie Silberstein discuss how keeping students at the center of decision-making can help leaders make tough choices amid competing pressures.
Straight Talk In Financially Uncertain Times: How District Leaders Can Communicate About The Messy Financial Landscape Coming Their Way
In this guest blog post, Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza share how district leaders can best communicate financial decisions to their staff and communities in order to build trust.
In this op-ed, Marguerite Roza analyzes how making any near-term teacher raises non-pensionable could impact state governments and K-12 teachers and students.
Waiting for Congress to Bail Out Schools Is a Risky Game of Chicken. Time for Districts to Come Up With Plan B — and for States to Help
In this commentary published by The 74, Marguerite Roza worries that a $200 billion ask for a federal bailout for schools seems to be an incomplete strategy, and argues that districts need to work now on the cost side of the equation as well.
In this op ed published by The Hill, Marguerite Roza proposes a way for the federal government to pay for college without boosting federal debt or burdening taxpayers.
In this guest blog post, Marguerite Roza shares how the federal government might address state and municipal pension debt in the midst of budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.
In this Education Next article, Marguerite Roza and Laura Anderson share what we’re learning from early explorations of the data and the opportunities it provides for education leaders.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza discusses what a larger state role in education funding means for districts during an economic downturn.
In this Hunt Institute "Making Sense of NC School Funding" blog, Marguerite Roza provides a national perspective on how states approach school funding.
When the U.S. Department of Education proposed significant changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection, we broke with many of our peer organizations to write in support of eliminating the school finance portion.
Past generations racked up billions in teacher pension debt and younger generations are now expected to pay for it. This blog shows how a multi-generational discussion of that topic might play out.
Chicago's senior teachers got hit with a double whammy. As we discuss in this blog, for those at the top of the pay scale retiring in the next four years, the strike meant lost wages and a decrease in future pension payments.
Chicago’s Teachers Union Agreed to Give Spending Control to Principals. Now, the Union Is Striking to Take It Away
Chicago teacher contract negotiations stalled over who controls staffing decisions in schools. In this commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why principals should be entrusted to make the spending decisions that best serve their students.
This commentary lays out why it may be time for states to establish agencies modeled on the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) to certify school district obligations before they take effect and push districts into financial crisis.
This article in Education Next shines a light on the pressing need to better support district and school leaders in their work on the spending side of the equation.
L.A. District Is Asking for a $500 Million Parcel Tax. In Return, Let the Schools Decide How to Spend Their New Funds
In this commentary The 74, Marguerite Roza and Anthony Drew note that many of the country’s largest school districts have shifted to a decentralized funding model, allocating funds to schools based on student needs, and boosting equity and transparency in the process. They urge LAUSD leaders to follow suit.
DeVos Proposed $50 Million for Districts to Decentralize Federal Money, to Put Schools in the Driver’s Seat. It’s a Smart Idea
In this commentary in The 74, Marguerite Roza urges legislators to consider a proposed pilot program to give school leaders and staff a say in how federal resources are used in their schools
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog post, Marguerite Roza discusses new U.S. Department of Education guidance on monitoring the “supplement-not-supplant” (SNS) provision of Title I.
In this blog and podcast, Marguerite Roza explains how a sleeper provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will serve up a motherlode of new school-level financial data, offering an unprecedented opportunity to be better equipped to tackle some of education’s most pressing issues.
Marguerite Roza responds to an online “Room for Debate” conversation hosted by the New York Times, arguing that chasing after nonresident students threatens the very nature of public universities as institutions that serve the state.
In this oped Marguerite Roza describes one critical issue underlying the fall 2015 Seattle Public Schools teachers' strike that neither the Seattle School District nor the Seattle Education Association.
Commentary by Marguerite Roza and Michael Podgursky on how big raises to teachers nearing retirement is a recipe for letting pension debt get out of control.
Marguerite Roza's response to the NY Times Room for Debate question ~ Is spending more on education the best way to improve schools and teaching?
In this op-ed, we argue that when the district decides what positions to fund in a school—rather than the school being empowered to decide based on its community priorities—it destroys goodwill and trust in the school system.