April 4, 2024 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Facing the ESSER Fiscal Cliff

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Photo credit: Rido81/Bigstock

The ESSER fiscal cliff that school finance experts warned about is nearly upon us. 

Schools have until Sept. 30 to obligate remaining funds from the final and largest pandemic-relief package. As districts craft their 2024-25 budgets, they must prepare for a future without these additional dollars. At the same time, many districts are also dealing with the financial implications of declining enrollment and other budget woes. 

Did districts spend these one-time funds in ways that would minimize budget pressures in the coming years? For districts that are facing tough decisions, how do they make them? Academic recovery work is not yet complete. How should districts decide which programs and interventions to cut and which to keep? How will high-poverty districts, which received the largest amounts of relief aid, be affected? 

The Education Writers Association will hold a webinar on April 4 at 2 p.m. Eastern to help journalists cover this urgent issue. Experts will explain how to get a sense of a district’s financial outlook and share questions reporters should be asking officials this budget season.