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Resources for Indiana and Ohio Reporters on COVID-19 Relief for Education

The news media has a critical role to play in helping the public and policymakers understand whether the unprecedented federal aid flowing to states and school districts for education recovery will live up to the promises of those in power.

The following resources can help journalists in Indiana and Ohio jumpstart their reporting.

Sheara Krvaric of Federal Education Group, who presented at the EWA workshop in April, produced a reporter-friendly primer on ESSER spending. It includes information about how the federal program works, rules on distribution, spending timelines, and more.

Phyllis Jordan and Bella DiMarco of FutureEd, a think tank at Georgetown University, also presented at the EWA workshop. They shared key trends in ESSER spending identified through their analysis of plans across the country, along with top priorities in districts in Indiana and Ohio, and tips for reading a local plan.

FutureEd has a number of other resources on ESSER spending: 

The independent news outlet Chalkbeat in February published “A Chalkbeat Toolkit for Tracking COVID Relief Spending By Schools,” authored by reporter Matt Barnum.

The Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University recently released its ESSER Expenditure Dashboard, which tracks expenditures districts have submitted for reimbursement. Data is available for Indiana and Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Education tracks COVID relief dollars through its Education Stabilization Fund Transparency Portal. It also continues to add resources to its webpage, “COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families.”

Additionally, Dylan Peers McCoy at WFYI, who presented at the EWA workshop, built this database with ESSER allocations by district in Indiana and links to local spending plans.

Below are links to data and announcements of state-level initiatives from the Indiana Department of Education

In addition, here are some links to data and announcements of state-level initiatives from the Ohio Department of Education