Study design is underway.
October 2019–March 2024
Augenblick, Palaich & Associates
Federal funds, which account for less than 10 percent of K–12 education spending nationally, can play an important role, particularly in communities that are lower-income or have lower-performing schools. Although each federal education program has unique goals and provisions, they often allow funds to be used for similar purposes and services or overlapping populations. Congress provided state and local education agencies greater flexibility in their use of federal funds through the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Congress also created the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide funding and flexibilities for states and districts to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in K–12 schools.
Policymakers remain interested in how federal dollars are spent. This study will examine how funds are distributed and used from the CARES Act as well as five major federal education programs: Part A of Titles I, II, III, and IV of ESEA, and Title I, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Together, the non-CARES Act programs account for about 80 percent of total funding for the Department's elementary-secondary programs, or $32 billion.
This descriptive study will collect detailed fiscal data from the data systems of a nationally representative sample of 400 school districts, including revenue, expenditure, and personnel and payroll data, for up to four consecutive school years: 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22. In addition, the study will collect data on federal funding allocations from states to school districts and from districts to schools, and conduct interviews in a smaller set of districts to examine how districts and schools use various funding sources to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
The study's report is expected in 2024 and will be announced on https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.
Key findings will be available after the first report is published.