States delay federal aid distribution, hampering district budgeting, programs
May 25, 2021
As pressure mounts for schools to reopen full time for in-person learning, delays in or changes to federal funding distribution are making it difficult for districts to plan for both short and long-term expenses.
"Communities are reading sensationalized headlines about this flood of cash, and if districts don't balance these dollars, they're facing some serious deficits," said Jess Gartner, founder and CEO of Allovue, a firm that specializes in financial solutions and services for school districts.
Doing that, however, has been difficult in places where states have hindered districts from accessing dollars from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. This is especially true for ESSER I and II, while ESSER III funding remains easier and quicker for districts to access, say superintendents, advocates and school finance experts.