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Making Strategic Use of Current and New Resources

**Education Resource Strategies. (2021). Helping school district leaders use ESSER funds for equity-focused recovery and re-design [Unpublished slide deck].

These slides were developed to help districts answer the questions, “How can district leaders use stimulus funds to center equity, accelerate student learning, and create a sustainable foundation for long-term improvement?” and, “How can philanthropy, technical assistance providers, and leadership advisors help them accomplish these goals?” The author also displays data from the pandemic and the 2008 recession to contextualize and compare the funds available. This piece is available at

Education Resource Strategies. (2021). Do now, build toward: 7 principles for investing ESSER funds in recovery & redesign.

This article describes seven principles that should guide districts’ decision-making around using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds. The principles are (1) understand and operationalize which student needs are highest, (2) prioritize evidence-based, high-impact strategies, (3) redefine what school and staffing looks like, (4) be especially thoughtful about disrupting inequities in your system, (5) budget and distribute funds for the long-term, (6) enable school sites to do their best work while clearly delineating where they have and do not have decision-making power, and (7) learn from what is and isn’t working to stay nimble in the face of inevitable changes. This piece is available at

Kellner, S., & Schwalm, L. (2021, May 21). Use of COVID-relief funds should be long-term, realistic and student-centered. EdSource.

Both former California superintendents, the authors of this article offer budgeting advice that focuses on the success of students while being realistic and sustainable. They highlight Burbank Unified, Sanger Unified, and Oxnard School Districts as having promising practices in their use of pandemic recovery funds. For example, Burbank has committed to investing in college access, and Sanger is strengthening their intervention systems. This piece is available at

**This document is considered a priority reading.