Last Updated December 9, 2020

To what extent are schools facing budget cuts due to COVID-19 and to what effect?

NCSL summarizes the current trends for education budgets and compares present state revenues to those from the Great Recession.

Edunomics Lab hosted a series of webinars on what the financial turmoil will mean for public education and pulled together a “District Budget Decisions & Labor Implications” tracker, which surfaces new data on where the financial chips are falling.

How will education budget cuts affect each state? Victoria Lee and Kristin Blagg explore the impacts on the progressivity of state and local education funding.

ERS examines school district spending and saving as a result of the shift to remote learning. This report breaks down school costs from four different school districts and calculates the net savings.

FutureEd and the Hunt Institute partnered to review how funds from the CARES Act are being spent, noting how many governors are allocating resources to enhance remote learning. You can also stay updated on the most recent news regarding congressional funding for K-12 schools.

What impact can budget cuts have on students?

An Education Next forum featuring leading researchers unpacks the debate over whether and how school spending matters. Read the analysis, discussion, and response.

Kenneth Shores and Matthew Steinberg explore the impacts of the Great Recession on student achievement and examine the implications of state education finance systems for local schools’ ability to weather fiscal shock.

A large body of research explores the impact of district layoff policies on students. “Last in, first out” policies increase the number of teachers that must be laid off and can have negative impacts on student achievement. In particular, minority students and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are disproportionately affected. Layoff policies that prioritize senior teachers and notify more teachers than necessary of potential job loss lead many teachers to leave their schools, causing structural staffing turmoil. This also has a negative impact on teacher performance.

Dan Goldhaber and Roddy Theobald summarize the lessons learned from the Great Recession on how to mitigate harm from teacher layoffs.

How can districts weather budget cuts while supporting student success?

A brief in Annenberg’s and Results for America’s EdResearch for Recovery series summarizes the evidence on district budgets, noting the most pressing issues schools will face and offering strategies to combat these challenges.

Edunomics Lab provides concrete steps districts can take now that will help them weather financial turmoil in the future.

Education Resource Strategies offers a district leadership decision-making toolkit that aims to make equity the center of budget planning conversations for the 2020-21 school year.

Nathan Levenson tackles the question of how school districts can boost the quality of special education while reducing costs.

Michael Fine with PACE surfaces options for states and districts wrestling with the financial crisis.

CRPE digs into why average teacher salaries in one school district spiked after the 2008 recession and discusses the benefits and tradeoffs of freezing or rolling back salary schedules as a strategy to mitigate layoffs.

Michael Petrilli and Marguerite Roza identify concrete strategies for states looking to “stretch the school dollar” in difficult financial times.

NCSL tackles questions on ensuring education cuts are fair and equitable, considerations for lifting restrictions on allocated funding, and sustaining systemic reform funds intended for special education.