Follow the Money: Workshop for Indiana and Ohio Reporters on Covering COVID-19 Relief for Schools

All recorded sessions from the April 19, 2022 workshop for Indiana and Ohio reporters.

Photo credit: Allison Shelley

A Crash Course on Federal Stimulus Dollars 

The federal government has allocated billions of dollars to schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the rules for how and when the aid can be spent? How can you tell if districts are meeting those obligations and spending in ways that benefit students? What are the most common strategies for using the one-time federal dollars? Experts explain the ins and outs of the law and trends identified through analysis of district plans.

  • Phyllis Jordan, FutureEd
  • Sheara Krvaric, Federal Education Group
  • Bella DiMarco, FutureEd
  • Stephanie Wang, Chalkbeat Indiana (moderator)

On the Ground in Indiana and Ohio

To provide context specific to each state, we break out into separate sessions for Indiana and Ohio reporters. How are these dollars being spent in your state and local districts? State officials and local leaders explain their approach and initiatives designed to aid in education recovery. Learn about the opportunities and challenges associated with these new, one-time funds, from avoiding recurring expenses that will create a fiscal cliff in the future to adapting to shortages of workers and supplies.


  • Kathy Friend, Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Holly Lawson, Indiana Department of Education
  • Curtis Wright, Richmond Community Schools
  • Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star (moderator)


  • Chad Aldis, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Jana Fornario, Ohio Department of Education
  • Elizabeth Lolli, Dayton Public Schools
  • Jennifer Pignolet, Akron Beacon Journal (moderator)

Building a Roadmap for Compelling Stories on COVID Relief Spending   

Experienced journalists share insights, practical tips, and key takeaways gleaned from their own coverage of the federal relief spending by states and districts. With help from EWA’s public editor, the presenters help you brainstorm concrete plans for smart coverage in your community and troubleshoot reporting challenges along the way.

  • Mark Lieberman, Education Week
  • Dylan Peers McCoy, WFYI
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (moderator)