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The Study Hall

K12 and the CARES Act: What Leaders Need To Know

“We're really at a crossroads here. Either, we step back from the strategic investments and increased equity gaps that we've known about for years, or really use this as an opportunity to double down on education investments, also some of the gaps that COVID-19 helped illuminate around infrastructure, content, and district capacity.”

-Ji Soo Song, Senior Policy and Advocate Associate at ISTE

I was honored to host a recent panel discussion with executives from ISTE, SEDTA, CoSN, and Foresight Law & Policy to support leaders during this time and discuss key components of the CARES Act that will have the most impact in K12 education.

Together, we discussed how schools and districts are preparing to welcome students back in the fall, and what they’re doing to promote the continuance of high-quality teaching and learning—whether school doors open or remote learning continues.  

Our discussion covered many topics that are top-of-mind for K12 educators from equity, to instructional continuity to educator preparedness, and beyond. One interesting question that received a lot of discussion: when students return to school, what resources will teachers need to identify how much learning was retained from the previous year? 

The panel collectively agreed that now more than ever, teachers must have the resources and flexibility to meet the individual needs of each student. To ensure no student is left behind, we discussed what was needed in every CARES spending plan to maintain consistency, increase communication, and build collective teacher efficacy moving forward. 

The recent pandemic undoubtedly shined a light on inequities in K12 education that have existed for years, keeping equity at the center of all instructional continuity considerations. As K12 leaders prepare for the unknowns of next year, they will have an opportunity to rethink school and ensure all students and teachers have access to materials that are most essential in driving the learning process forward.

I invite you to listen to the webinar recording to gain further insights on how you can use CARES funding to support teachers and students next year, and learn the key considerations that should be included in every CARES spending plan.


I also invite you to check out our other CARES Act resources, here.