Adapting a Cardinal Rule of Finance: Five Strategies for Using One-Time Federal Funding on School Staffing
School systems are currently faced with critical recovery needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders must decide how to allocate nearly $200 billion of federal funding, which has the potential to significantly impact efforts to accelerate learning and provide student well-being supports, especially for students who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
A cardinal rule of finance is to avoid using one-time funds on personnel because the funding is not sustainable and many organizations do not have the infrastructure to manage the staffing challenges that come when the funding ends. However, given the urgent personnel needs prompted by the pandemic, now may be the time to adapt this cardinal rule.
As school systems address unprecedented student needs resulting from the pandemic, this brief offers five strategies for using federal aid to invest in school staff. If done well, several of these strategies have the added benefit of enabling school systems to invest in longer-term solutions that strengthen the pipeline of educators and support staff to address enduring shortages.
This report is part of a planned series of briefs that will be released in summer 2021.
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