Academic Recovery

Chart: Academic Recovery. Summer learning: 2,190. Instructional materials: 1,798. Software/instructional software: 1,751. Afterschool/extended day: 1,401. Tutoring: 1,258. Student assessments: 1,106. Math/ELA coaching: 847. Summer learning/afterschool combined: 631. Attendance/enrollment/engagement: 560. (This chart is based on a June 7 compilation by the data-services firm Burbio of Covid-relief spending plans released by 5,004 school districts and charter schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The sample represents roughly 74% of the nation's public-school students and receives $83 billion of the $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds. The categories include spending designed to address student "learning loss.")

Test scores and teacher observations have documented the pandemic’s ill effects on student achievement, with millions of students falling behind where they should be academically. The impact hits particularly hard among the most vulnerable students, such as those living in poverty, dealing with disabilities, or homeless. The American Rescue Plan requires local districts and charter schools to devote at least 20 percent of the relief aid they receive to evidence-based practices for addressing learning loss.

More than half of the districts and charters in the Burbio sample are planning to Covid-relief spend money on expanded learning, either through summer learning, afterschool programs, weekend classes or longer school years. In many cases, they are receiving grants from state education agencies, which are required to spend at least 1 percent of the state’s total on summer learning and 1 percent on extended day programs. Many places are planning to spend their dollars on tutoring programs, academic assessments and instructional materials to help students catch up.

View our regional analysis of spending plans

View our analysis of rural, urban and suburban spending plans



 See state plans for academic recovery









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Graphic by Merry Alderman