Education Finance Takes Center Stage Amid Fiscal Uncertainty

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June 2, 2020

Quality Counts’ annual deep dive into school finance might seem like a specialty project—crucial for the brass who keep the fiscal ship afloat in their school districts, but overshadowed by the day-to-day challenges of teaching, learning, and student safety that seem to dominate the K-12 education discussion.
Not this year.
As it has with every aspect of society, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens K-12 finances to an unprecedented degree. School administrators and state policymakers face the prospect of devastating budget cuts, layoffs, and programmatic retrenchment even as they wrestle with how to safely reopen their virus-shuttered schools.

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They can’t make these decisions in a vacuum. School leaders need a clear picture of the resources in hand and what they can learn from those who have confronted past financial downturns—and survived.
“Quality Counts 2020: School Finance” aims to address all of these needs.
In his lead article, Education Week school finance reporter Daarel Burnette II, who has been covering the fiscal impact of the pandemic for months, shares advice from district leaders and school finance experts on navigating this crisis, informed by lessons from the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its aftermath.
Scores, …

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