States Readying for ESSA Financial Review of Struggling Districts

States Readying for ESSA Financial Review of Struggling Districts

September 24, 2019

In this piece—which is part of Education Week’s managing the money report—Daarel Burnette II explores how ESSA “enshrines” the dictum that to budget effectively, you need to know how you spend your money. Federal law requires “for the first time that each state conduct a top-to-bottom review of how its worst-performing districts deploy their money, staff, and time to support school improvement.” This is a “nod” to the growing body of evidence suggesting district spending choices can significantly impact outcomes, as well as a recognition on the district level that both spending and staffing are “incohesive” and not necessarily aligned with goals. However, “there’s widespread confusion and angst among state officials about how to conduct what ESSA calls resource-allocation reviews, according to those who work with state education agencies.”