The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, especially for systemically underserved students — students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, students in the foster care system, students who are incarcerated, undocumented students, Black, Latino and Native students.

A recent study1 indicates that students, on average, could experience five to nine months of “unfinished learning” by the end of June 2021. Beyond interruptions to instruction, many students face food and housing insecurity, unreliable access to remote-learning technology, and reduced access to student supports and education services. Racial inequities, caused by long-standing systemic racism and exacerbated by the pandemic, cause further stress and anxiety for students of color and expose some of the additional daily challenges they face.

Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), states and school districts must use at least 5% and 20% of the funding they receive, respectively, to implement evidence-based interventions to address unfinished learning and to address students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. COVID relief funding provides a total of $190 billion to support the needs of K-12 students — with $125 billion of those funds coming from the American Rescue Plan.

As we navigate these unprecedented times, it will be even more important that investments are made to grow the evidence base and evaluate the effectiveness of programs used to accelerate learning.

Dear District Leader

Families, students, and community members have a critical opportunity to advocate for evidence-based and effective policies and practices to use new federal dollars to support the social emotional and academic well-being of systemically underserved students. To support these efforts, Ed Trust created a “Dear District Leader” Letter. This letter can be downloaded, customized, and sent to district leaders.

Send the letter to your district leaders and help ensure the district implements a strong and sustainable plan that includes evidence-based, equity-focused strategies for accelerating learning.

Hover over the map to find out how much K-12 Education Relief Funding your state will receive from the federal government and how much of that funding your state must use – and allocate to districts – to address unfinished learning.

Click on your state and send a letter to your state chief calling on them to address unfinished learning with this once in a generation investment in education.

Note: K-12 Federal Relief Funding is the total funding provided through the three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. It does not include governor’s funds, higher education funds, or other non-education streams that could be used for education (such as the $350B Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery fund). The local and state set-asides reflect 20% and 5%, respectively, of the ESSER funding provided to each state through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Targeted Intensive Tutoring

Which students benefit most?

  • Targeted intensive tutoring is effective for all students, but research shows that younger students benefit the most.

Expanded Learning Time

Which students benefit most?

  • Research shows that increasing the number of hours of instruction students receive during the school day (either during nonacademic class periods or by extending the official school day) can be effective for all age groups, types of students, and subject matter.

The Importance of Strong Relationships

Who benefits most from strong relationships?

  • Students from all backgrounds and ages benefit from strong relationships.