Follow the Money: Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin Workshop on Covering COVID-19 Relief for Schools

All recorded sessions from the Oct. 27, 2022 workshop for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin reporters.

Photo credit: avistock/FREEP!K

A Crash Course on Federal Stimulus Dollars – And How Best to Use Them

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, and how are they evolving? How can you tell if districts are meeting their obligations and spending in ways that benefit students? What does the research tell us about best practices for interventions? Experts explain the ins and outs of the law and how to determine whether your district is spending on smart, evidence-based strategies.

  • Julia Martin, Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC
  • Nathaniel Schwartz, Annenberg Institute at Brown University
  • Lori Higgins, Chalkbeat Detroit (moderator)

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On the Ground in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin

To provide context specific to each state, we break out into separate sessions for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin 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, while policy experts offer their insights and observations. Learn about the opportunities and challenges associated with these one-time funds, from avoiding recurring expenses that will create a fiscal cliff in the future to adapting to shortages of workers and supplies.


  • Christina Gibson, Eastpointe Community Schools
  • Katharine Strunk, EPIC at Michigan State University
  • Kevin Walters, Michigan Department of Education
  • Sascha Raiyn, WDET (moderator)

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  • Krista Kaput, Bellwether Education Partners
  • Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Matt Shaver, EdAllies
  • Eder Campuzano, Star Tribune (moderator)

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  • Laura Adams, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Carlton Jenkins, Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Sara Shaw, Wisconsin Policy Forum
  • Emily Files, WUWM Radio (moderator)

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Building a Roadmap for Compelling Stories on COVID-Relief Spending

Experienced journalists share insights and key takeaways from their own reporting on federal-relief spending by states and districts, along with practical tips for digging into the data to find stories. With guidance from the Education Writers Association’s Kavitha Cardoza, the presenters help you brainstorm concrete plans for smart coverage in your community and troubleshoot reporting challenges along the way.

  • Beth Hawkins, The 74 Million
  • Thomas Wilburn, Chalkbeat
  • Kavitha Cardoza, EWA (moderator)

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