School funding has always been a challenge, but a recession and pandemic have made it even more of a hurdle for many districts in recent years

Prioritizing school funding in the midst of multiple crises


School funding has always been a challenge, but a recession and pandemic have made it even more of a hurdle for many districts in recent years

Faced with fast-changing instructional models, varying infection rates, decreasing revenue sources, and a variety of natural disasters, how can education finance officials meet the short-term needs of their districts as well as longer-term school funding requirements?

During a recent edLeader Panel, four experts shared their recent experiences and current perspectives on the issues and challenges that school districts have been coping with during the past six months. They also discussed interim solutions and plans for the future, all of which are continuing to evolve.

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A number of the speakers actually had wildfires raging nearby as they spoke, while the combined impact of the pandemic and related recession were also presenting urgent challenges to the well-being of local students and educators, as well as to parents and other community members.

Creative re-purposing and partnering

For Dr. Lisa Gonzales, Chief Business Officer of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in California, one of the biggest changes and challenges was her district’s sudden switch during the summer from a return to schools to going entirely online at the start of the new school year. With more than 29,000 students and 50 school sites spread over 150 square miles, providing needed services to a diverse student population in a wide range of different settings was no easy task.

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