January 17, 2021

Caught in a financial ‘Triple Squeeze,’ districts could see annual costs of $2,500 per student to address pandemic-related learning loss

Olga Lionart from Pixabay

Getting students to where they’d be academically if the pandemic hadn’t occurred could cost schools an average of $12,000 to $13,500 per student over the next five years, according to a new estimate that assumes most will need some additional learning time.

Conducted by Education Resource Strategies, a nonprofit consulting firm that works with districts on financial issues, the projections account for the kind of “high-dosage” tutoring needed for students who have fallen the furthest behind and hiring more staff devoted to schoolwide social-emotional learning efforts.

The costs, roughly $2,500 per year, follow recent research showing that while declines in student performance weren’t as steep as predicted earlier, the students expected to be the most impacted by school closures didn’t even take tests that would determine where they stand.

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