While the two experts don’t always agree, they bring a wealth of knowledge and mutual respect to a difficult, nuanced, and timely conversation. For more reflections in the Eduwonk CRT series, click here.
Sharif El-Mekki is founder and CEO of The Center for Black Educator Development. Ian Rowe is the founder and CEO of Vertex Partnership Academies and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes $123 billion to K-12 education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and $39 billion for higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
Ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 school year, state and local education officials nationwide are beginning to spend funds on a wide range of programs in K-12 and postsecondary education.
“Every dollar spent on bonus payments to address a phantom teacher retention problem is a dollar that won’t go toward supporting the needs of the kids who attend JCPS schools — a mistake JCPS is making 75 million times over. Should JCPS’ limited education recovery funding really be used to further expand economic and racial inequality in our city?
A more targeted retention bonus program could have been modeled after successful efforts to retain effective educators in high-needs schools. Or it could have focused on specific positions for which vacancies are an issue, such as custodial and food service positions. Instead, most of this blanket windfall of cash will end up subsidizing a relatively affluent segment of our community that didn’t once have to worry about their next paycheck — something few families can relate to in a district where 66% of students are economically disadvantaged.”
Read more from Alex Spurrier’s recent Louisville Courier-Journal op-ed,here.