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State Board Looks Into ESSER-ARP State Plan

Thursday, May 27, 2021
Discusses Findings of Principal Survey Report

Washington, DC—The D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE) will hold its monthly working session on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues globally, the State Board is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our members, staff, and public. Therefore, this meeting will be held as a video web conference. Materials for the State Board meetings can be found on our meeting website. For the most up-to-date information on the District’s COVID-19 response, please visit

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will continue to share information on its educator workforce initiatives, a topic that was discussed at the May Working Session.  Such initiatives provide targeted and sustained supports for educators through training from Educator Preparation Providers (EPP), providing educator and local education agencies (LEA) supports, and using actionable educator workforce data to improve educator practice and promote better outcomes for students. 

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released the Plan Template for the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER). The fund has been allocated to assist schools in safely reopening and running operations, as well as providing necessary supports to schools and students who were affected by the pandemic. The application is an opportunity to gain feedback from the public to ensure that their community needs are reflected in and met by the state spending plan. OSSE will provide information about how the D.C. State Plan Application can be crafted to build equitable and sustainable supports that would allow District students to go back to their classrooms safely. 

District of Columbia Public School (DCPS), public charter school principals, and school leaders from across the District responded to questions in a survey regarding their experiences supporting their schools during COVID-19, how federal funding helped and will continue to help their schools, and practices that they adopted and plan on continuing to turn to in years to come following their experiences leading schools during the pandemic. 

Key Takeaways

  • Almost all of the public charter school leaders indicated they have received COVID-19 federal funds, compared to about a third of DCPS principals. Of those who received federal funds, most said they spent it on technology and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Most respondents indicated they could not use the federal funds they received to hire more staff, with some indicating this was due to LEA policies.
  • More than half of the public charter school leaders said they would consider reducing staff levels if they were not to receive federal aid, compared to less than half of DCPS principals.
  • According to principals & school leaders, the top two areas federal funds can help their schools were staffing and social and emotional learning (SEL) supports. Staffing was also the top way principals & school leaders suggested they would spend their federal funding if they had no restrictions on how they spent the money.
  • The length of time principals & school leaders work at the same school seems to have an impact on how they would spend federal funding, with principals & school leaders serving in schools for four or less years more likely to purchase SEL supports compared to more veteran principals, who indicated they would spend it on staffing.
  • Technology and staffing resources were the top two most preferred options for planning into school years beyond the pandemic.

The State Board will consider key findings from this analysis to guide actionable recommendations. 


The State Board’s committees will also provide updates on their work. 

Upcoming Committee Meetings:  

  • Administrative Committee - June 12 at 10:00 am
  • Advocacy & Outreach Committee - June 18 at 10:00 am 
  • Board Governance - June 11 at 1:00 pm
  • Student Advisory Committee (SAC) - June 1, June 7, and June 14 at 5:30 pm
  • Teacher Practice Committee - June 8 at 4:00 pm
  • Assessment & Accountability Committee - June 17 at 4:30 pm 
  • Education Standards Committee - June 23 at 4:30 pm
  • Social Studies Standards Committee (SSSAC) June 8 at 5:00 pm 

While working sessions are open to the public, individuals and representatives of organizations are not permitted to speak or participate. Individuals and representatives of organizations may submit written testimony for consideration by the State Board at any time. Written testimony must be submitted by email ([email protected]) at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting, in order to be included in the official record. Materials received after that time will be included in the next official meeting record. To review the agenda, submit testimony, and presentations, please visit the SBOE meeting documents site.


Working Session Agenda

Please note that the agenda may be altered, modified, or updated without notice.

I. Call to Order

II. Announcement of a Quorum

III. Leadership Report

IV. Executive Director’s Report

V. Educator Preparation Programs Accreditation Process

VI. ESSER- ARP State Plan Overview

VII. Principal Survey Report

VIII.Committee Reports  

       i. Student Advisory Committee

       ii. Advocacy & Outreach

       iii. Accountability & Assessments

       iv. Board Governance

       v. Education Standards

       vi. Reopen Task Force 

       vii. Teacher Practice

       viii. Administrative  

IX. New Business & Other Discussion 

X. Adjournment 


About the SBOE

The DC State Board of Education is an independent agency within the Government of the District of Columbia that advises the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District’s state education agency. The State Board is made up of nine elected representatives, each representing their respective wards, with one member representing DC at large, and two appointed student representatives. The State Board approves statewide education policies and sets academic standards, while OSSE oversees education within the District and manages federal education funding. More information about the SBOE can be found at

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19, please visit


Contact: Milayo Olufemi


[email protected]