It’s almost hard to comprehend, but from April of 2020 to today the federal government has earmarked roughly $4.6 billion to K-12 education in Louisiana as a response to the COVID pandemic. That’s a lot of cash. Much of it is going to cover or reimburse real-world expenses directly related to the coronavirus. We don’t know what that exact number will be, but we do know that even after those expenses are paid, there will be an opportunity to do some other things that could have hugely significant impacts, if we think and invest strategically.
The amount Louisiana is receiving is one of the highest of any states. We’re small, but we’re poor and that’s opened the spigot for a windfall of cash. But there are a few things that should be said about that at the outset.
One is that there are strings attached, as is almost always the case with federal dollars of this magnitude. Administrators are still waiting on the rules for the most recent batch to see how the money can be used, but almost certainly it will be limited in some ways to expenses caused by COVID or initiatives that are somehow related to addressing some of the educational impacts resulting from the pandemic. You won’t be able to use it for normal operating expenses, fixing the roof, or giving pay raises to teachers.
Another is that the dollars do not have to be spent all at once. Some of it can be allocated … Continue Reading >>>