High-quality summer and afterschool learning programs (“out-of-school time” or OST programs) play an important role in young people’s lives. They are even more important in 2022, when many educators are relying on them to help young people recover from learning time lost to COVID-19 and to promote well-being. This guide identifies opportunities within several federal funding streams which providers, districts, summer and afterschool intermediaries and municipal and state officials can tap to cover program costs, plan for the future and develop infrastructure to execute their plans.

On March 1, President Biden delivered his first State of the Union Address to Congress in which he both recognized the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic and outlined his plan to address the burden of increased costs on American families. Before discussing his proposals to advance his domestic agenda, President Biden reserved the opening of his address to outline American actions intended to support the nation of Ukraine as they continue to defend themselves against Russia.

Over the past 20 years, many higher education institutions have closed without warning, leaving student veterans without degrees and with few options to complete their degrees and get better jobs. Partially in response to these concerns, and recognizing the limited staffing and budgets of state approving agencies to provide quality assurance, Congress passed for the first time a law requiring risk-based reviews…

On January 27, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Miguel Cardona delivered a speech outlining his priorities for the Department, as well as his priorities for “continued recovery through the pandemic and improving America’s education system more broadly.”

EducationCounsel, in partnership with Policy Studies Associates and the Wallace Foundation, co-authored this publication to support district leaders in evaluating various federal programs…

This case analysis provides an overview of the federal district court opinion in SFFA v. UNC, which has been appealed, along with practical policy takeaways associated with the court’s decision.

Are there widespread teacher shortages in U.S. public education? Recent headlines suggest there are. But a closer look at school staffing trends in recent years yields a different story, one with important consequences for education policymakers. This report analyzes pre-pandemic teacher supply and demand trends, identifies new staffing questions raised by the Covid crisis, and offers policy recommendations to help states and school districts address schools’ true human capital needs to ensure that all students-especially those too often marginalized and underserved-are taught by effective educators.


May 24, 2018

Secretary Riley reflects on successful strategies to transform schools in rural communities. Read more.


December, 2022
The following article by Vasilisa Smith and Aaron Loewenberg originally appeared on the New America website on Oct. 13, 2022.

In March of 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which included an unprecedented $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund (known as ESSER III). Like previous ESSER investments, these funds were provided to state educational agencies and school districts to address safe school reopening and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students, requiring an emphasis on addressing the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on students of color.

December, 2022
This piece is authored by Jalen Woodard, EducationCounsel’s 2022 summer intern. The views and recommendations stated above are his own.

The carpeted hallways in my high school stunk of mildew when it rained. Droplets from ceiling cracks dotted our desks and splattered our notebooks. A small bucket stood guard near the teacher’s desk under a gaping hole. It wasn’t until I began traveling to neighboring districts for quiz bowl competitions that I realized the dimly lit scene of my classroom stood in stark contrast to the clean, modern classrooms that our opponents may have taken for granted. I wondered: Why? Why were my classmates and I forced to learn in classrooms with moldy floors and leaky ceilings? And why was it taking so long for my school administrators to make the repairs?

Dec. 15, 2021
By Elysa Cash and Danielle Ewen

In response to the increased needs of families, children, and educators across the country, public education has experienced a significant influx of federal funding throughout the pandemic. In addition to funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the support from schools and communities, leaders building birth-to-third grade systems should know of the flexibility of the federal programs already in place.

Dec. 13, 2021
By Davida McDonald

Wyoming has developed a statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan that directs families, early childhood and K-12 educators and administrators, communities, and state officials to collaborate to thoughtfully connect children’s relationships, environments, and experiences during early childhood. The plan also directs Wyoming to execute effective and supportive policies and practices that recognize the essential need to support young children and families before, during, and after times of transition, especially the transition into the first year of elementary school.


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