St. Paul Public Schools Shows Districts How to Ensure Covid Funds are Spent Wisely | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Robert Luebke.

    Like many other states, the North Carolina has received a lot of money from the federal government to address the impacts of the corona virus pandemic. At last count, North Carolina school districts had spent $5.1 billion of the $6.2 billion in relief they have received since 2020.

    Federal spending requirements tell us where the money was spent and how much. However, current requirements tell us little as to whether those monies have had any impact on learning or reversing learning loss.

    I've written much in recent years about this problem and about how states and school districts have squandered funds targeted for covid relief.

    One of the obvious follow-up questions to this discussion has always been: Are there states or districts that are doing a good job of tracking funds and assessing the effectiveness of covid dollars for the public schools? The answer is yes. The Saint Paul, Minnesota school district has provided districts across the nation a roadmap to do just that.

    The education website, The 74 Million recently wrote about the district's revolutionary and successful efforts:

    Earlier this year, St. Paul Public Schools drew national recognition for transparency in deciding how its pandemic relief funds are used. Now, as the last of that unprecedented influx of federal dollars is being spent, the district is inviting the public to help determine how well the money was invested - and decide which efforts to fund in the next budget. Four of ten seats on a new finance advisory committee will be filled by community members, starting in a few weeks - the first time the public has been given a formal role in fiscal oversight. To recruit new voices, priority will be given to people who have not previously volunteered with district governance but have ties to schools and some knowledge of finance. These school board members and three district executives, including Superintendent Joe Gothard, will round out the committee.

    Transparency, citizen participation, and assessing the effectiveness of programs? Sadly, these are ideas are all too foreign to many school districts in North Carolina. According to the latest data from the Department of Public Instruction, 52 percent of covid funds were spent on salaries and benefits, 22 percent on Supplies and Materials, 11 percent on Capital Outlay, and the other 15 percent on purchased services and "other" expenses.

    What is happening with all this money? That's a subject North Carolina school districts should be willing to address. They can begin by not only looking at what St. Paul Public Schools is doing but also realizing it's working.

    To find out more about the St. Paul Public Schools and what they are doing to ensure funds are spent wisely see here and here.

poll#210
As School Choice is beginning to take shape in North Carolina: What is your position on what it should evolve into?
  School Choice is only a distraction from the promise of real public education.
  School Choice, as it evolves into its best model to serve the public' s education needs, this benefit will provide choices outside of the historic construct supporting the public school monopoly.
  School Choice - I cannot see how it serves the Education Industry.
198 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?


poll#164
It has been far too many years since the Woke theology interlaced its canons within the fabric of the Indoctrination Realm, so it is nigh time to ask: Does this Representative Republic continue, as a functioning society of a self-governed people, by contending with the unusual, self absorbed dictates of the Woke, and their vast array of Victimhood scenarios?
  Yes, the Religion of Woke must continue; there are so many groups of underprivileged, underserved, a direct result of unrelenting Inequity; they deserve everything.
  No; the Woke fools must be toppled from their self-anointed pedestal; a functioning society of a good Constitutional people cannot withstand this level of "existential" favoritism as it exists now.
  I just observe; with this thoughtful observation: What will happen "when the Vikings are breeching our walls;" how do the Woke react?
845 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

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