NCSI presented a multi-part webinar series sharing best practices for state special education leaders to make the best use of available resources during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Maintaining the provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) through the COVID-19 pandemic and related school closures has challenged many school systems. States are faced with balancing legal programmatic requirements and projected budget cuts.
NCSI and invited experts shared information to help state leadership teams make informed decisions amid current circumstances, ensuring leaders are poised to continue high-quality educational programming for students and families.
Viewers will receive guidance on budget changes, how to direct the effective use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding, strategies for comprehensive planning across programs, tips for leveraging education resources, and understanding of funding flexibilities.
Managing Resources Effectively in Response to COVID-19
Wednesday, May 13, 4pm ET/1pm PT
The first of the three webinars provided an overview of the economic and fiscal impact of COVID-19 on education budgets and of the allowable uses of CARES Act funding. It also highlighted key fiscal considerations for education resources, including ensuring continuity of service and directing funds to students with the greatest need. The Presenters were Rorie Fitzpatrick, Director, National Center for Systemic Improvement, Jason Willis, Director of Strategy and Performance, WestEd, and Kelsey Krausen, Senior Engagement Manager, WestEd.
Resource Planning for Students with Disabilities through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Balancing Legal Obligations and Available Resources to Maintain Student Progress
Wednesday, May 20, 4pm ET/1pm PT
This webinar provided guidance on how to manage resource identification and allocation to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are appropriately addressed while balancing the need to meet legal requirements. It highlights opportunities to maximize resources to improve outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities.
The presenters were Jana Rosborough, National Center for Systemic Improvement, Jason Willis, Director of Strategy and Performance, WestEd, and Sara Doutre, National Center for Systemic Improvement.
Blending and Braiding Funds to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on the Most Vulnerable Students
Wednesday, May 27, 4pm ET/1pm PT
- PowerPoint Slides (pdf)
- Link to Recording
- Chat Transcript
- Referenced Material: 2019 ESEA Conference – Leveraging Funds Presentation
The students most likely to experience academic slide due to COVID-19 school closures are students who are eligible for services under multiple programs funded by IDEA funds, federal Title funds, and and state funds set aside for vulnerable populations. Blending and braiding these and other funding streams is a strategy to more effectively leverage multiple funding streams toward a common goal to supporting students with the greatest need.
The webinar defines and provides parameters for allowable uses of blending and braiding strategies for multiple federal, state, and local funding streams to support programs or initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19. It also highlights key opportunities for blending and braiding recovery funding provided under the CARES Act to optimize the use of these funds to support students and close gaps created by COVID-19 school closures
The presenters were Sara Doutre, National Center for Systemic Improvement, Jason Willis, Director of Strategy and Performance, WestEd, and Tia Taylor, Systems Transformation Specialist, WestEd.