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State of the Schools 2020: The Educational Costs of the COVID-19 Pandemic

State and local government leaders have largely led the battle against the coronavirus, and they currently face a pivotal question: What will public education look like in the coming year? States and school districts are weighing whether to begin the fall semester remotely or in school buildings. The cost of each approach will be well beyond business as usual. At the same time, state and local revenues are falling, and school districts and state boards of education must decide funding priorities.

As the school year begins, how are states and school districts moving forward, and how do they weigh the costs of providing an adequate education and trade-offs between in-class instruction and potential health risks? What innovative approaches should be considered, and how do they ensure the best outcomes for all students?


  • Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District (TX)
  • Robin Lake, Director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington
  • Kim Rueben, Director, State and Local Finance Initiative, Urban Institute
  • Heidi Sipe, Superintendent, Umatilla School District (OR)
  • Nora E. Gordon, Associate Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University (moderator)





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Image credit: Travelerpix/Shutterstock


Date & Time Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Sol Price Fellow
    Director, State and Local Finance Initiative