As the end of the year approaches, Westchester Education Services is gathering market intelligence to assist its clients prepare for the challenges and opportunities 2023 will bring. I recently presented at the EdWeek Market Brief Summit, which is an excellent opportunity to collect information and learn about the latest trends impacting the school market.
I presented with Kevin Gray, President and Chief Content Officer of Westchester Education Services. Kevin and I discussed the major K-12 policy developments of 2022 and the funding outlook for 2023. Here are some highlights of our discussion:
- The K-12 Funding Outlook Is Bright. Supported by unprecedented amounts of federal and state education aid, market conditions remain strong for K-12 products and services in the academic year 2022-2023. As state economies have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, many states enacted school aid budgets that include large – and in some cases record – amounts of funding for school districts. Notable state increases in school aid budgets include Michigan +14.6%, California +13.7%, Pennsylvania +10.8%, Florida +8.3%, and New York +7.2%.
- Federal Education Stimulus Dollars Continue to Flow to the States, But the “Fiscal Cliff” is Approaching. In response to the national COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. Congress in 2020 and 2021 approved funding to support school re-openings and learning needs. The public K-12 education sector alone received approximately $190 billion in three tranches of funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). Together, the funding amounts to the largest single investment ever made to U.S. elementary and secondary education. The funds must be committed by Sept. 30, 2024 – a date that has been labeled as the “fiscal cliff.” The end of the relief funding will impact school districts and many education companies.
- Annual Federal Education Allocations Are Also on the Rise. As historic levels of federal education stimulus dollars have flowed to the states, allocations to long-established K-12 programs have also increased over the past two years.
In sum, the funding outlook is very good through the fiscal year 2023, which ends on June 30. Work will soon begin on budgets for the 2023-2024 school year. In the first three months of 2023 the nation’s governors will roll out budget proposals. Also, early in the year, President Biden will release his proposal for funding the federal government’s operations and programs. As those budgets are introduced, we will begin to get an early understanding of budget conditions for the next academic year.
Westchester will continue to provide policy and funding updates through this blog and its podcasts and webinars. Westchester encourages everyone in the K-12 education space to follow our updates throughout the new year.
Westchester and our partners will be attending the following conferences (in-person!):
Philadelphia, December 2-4, 2002
FETCNew Orleans, January 23-26, 2023.
Westchester, EdGate, and EvoText will be hosting a webinar in January 2023. Subscribe to our email list below to be notified when registration for this free event opens.
Jay A. Diskey is a policy consultant to Westchester Education Services. He is the principal of Diskey Public Affairs, a Washington DC consultancy specializing in education policy, curriculum reform, publishing, and technology. He is the former chair of the International Publishers Association’s education committee and for many years he led the Association of American Publishers’ education division. Earlier, he was a member of the senior staff of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce. In the early 1990s, he served as a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education.
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