US School Districts Are Spending More as Stimulus Deadline Looms

(Bloomberg) — Buoyed by a historic influx of federal pandemic stimulus, the largest school districts in the US are spending more.

On average, school district expenses rose 5.4% in fiscal 2023 from a year earlier, according to an analysis of 118 district budgets by Burbio, a Pelham, New York-based company that tracks school data. The gains follow a 10.8% increase between fiscal years 2022 and 2021. In total, the districts plan to spend $134 billion in the upcoming school year, up from $126 billion the previous year.

The spending uptick reflects a push by school officials across the country to put money to work ahead of a September 2024 deadline that requires them to use up all their allotted federal stimulus aid. Some school finance experts have suggested districts aren’t spending the money fast enough to exhaust their funds.

Among the districts analyzed by Burbio, Los Angeles Unified in California, and Chicago Public Schools plan to spend the most, $11.7 billion and $8 billion, respectively. Not all the country’s largest districts were included because some budgets, like New York City’s, aren’t yet available, and other districts operate on different fiscal calendars that don’t commence on July 1.

“Even as some districts are seeing drops in certain funding due to enrollment declines, the federal, and in some cases state-level stimulus spending, is more than making up for it,” Burbio co-founder Julie Roche said.

In 2020 and 2021, the federal government provided nearly $279 billion in relief aid for education, including $122 billion of American Rescue Plan stimulus. Expenditure figures from Burbio include stimulus spending, as well as more traditional spending from sources like state and local tax revenue.

The increased spending is noticeable in two prominent school districts. In Nevada’s Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, the district plans to spend about $3.3 billion in the 2023 fiscal year, $135 million more than last year and about 24% more than fiscal year 2021. The district was awarded about $777 million in American Rescue Plan funds.

Meanwhile, Baltimore City Public Schools will spend $182 million more than last year as enrollment is expected to recover from a 3,954 drop in fiscal 2021 due to the pandemic. Schools there received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund grants, known as ESSER, totaling $790 million, which the district can spend on temporary staff to support learning recovery and tutoring. Baltimore schools are also using stimulus money on capital projects like bathroom renovations, HVAC upgrades and building outdoor spaces, according to budget documents.


More stories like this are available on

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!



public safety and security
Strengthen Public Safety and Security: Modernize Radio Communication for Better Field Response
April 11, 2024

The importance of radio communication within public safety and security operations remains unbeaten in an era dominated by digital transformation. This medium, essential for over a century, continues to be the lifeline for responders on the front lines. From ensuring the safety of field agents to facilitating real-time critical information flow and enhancing situational […]

Read More
IDC Smart Cities Awards: Edge Computing is Helping Virginia Beach Tackle its Flooding Crisis
April 11, 2024

In remote and disaster-prone areas, the rapid deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) has opened new vistas for emergency management and community safety in smart cities. These leading IoT deployments, highlighted at the recent announcement of the IDC Smart Cities Awards winners, solidified the role that edge computing […]

Read More
Next Gen 911 Sara Weston
Next Gen 911 Doesn’t Have a Final Destination, But Lack of Funding is Slowing the Adoption Journey
April 11, 2024

The transformation of emergency response systems through Next Gen 911 represents a critical evolution in public safety technology, enhancing emergency response capabilities with features like GPS tracking, live video, and real-time translation. As we move away from the outdated copper wire systems first implemented in the 1960s, the disparity between our personal devices and […]

Read More
Tax Incentives Are Key for Green Commercial Vehicle Adoption
April 11, 2024

The push toward greener logistics is gaining traction as concerns about environmental sustainability and climate change continue to grow. Traditional diesel-powered vehicles, long the backbone of the freight industry, are increasingly seen as unsustainable. The introduction of zero-emission vehicles like electric and hydrogen trucks is a promising step, but these technologies face significant barriers […]

Read More