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Giving Compass' Take:
• School districts across the United States are scrambling to maintain budgets and expenses as they change their in-person and online scheduling options due to COVID-19.
• How can education donors help support school district budgets?
• Read about the economic shock to schools in high-poverty areas due to COVID-19.
Districts are facing fluctuating education budget projections in some states this fall. Paired with uncertain expenses due to changing hybrid, distance and in-person learning options, education finance experts say districts are under unprecedented financial pressure.
Added variables like attendance and enrollment rates, state reimbursements and future federal stimulus have sent states "in various states of limbo," said Marguerite Roza, director of Georgetown's Edunomics Lab, an education finance research center. Places where tax revenues rely on oil or tourism have been hit especially hard. Other areas "seem like a mixed bag right now," according to Mike Griffith, senior researcher and policy analyst at Learning Policy Institute.
School districts nationwide "are really scrambling" to line up their budgets with expected expenses as a result, Griffith said, adding it's likely districts will change their budgets multiple times over the school year.
In Texas, North Carolina, California and other states where funding is directly linked to enrollment, districts are being "held harmless" for dipping enrollment numbers. However, Kevin Brown, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators, said that's only until early November in his state. If the state doesn't act after that, districts will get "hammered on funding," Brown said.
Read the full article about school district budgets by Naaz Modan at Education Dive.