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How Does NIHF Help Districts Make the Best Use of ESSER Funds?

While the federal government has provided school districts across the country an unprecedented amount of funding to help combat the negative impacts of the pandemic, it is estimated that schools have only spent a fraction of this $190 billion.

Because all Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding not spent by September 2024 automatically will be returned to the government, time is of the essence to ensure districts make the most of this historic opportunity.

Knowing how to spend these resources most effectively is challenging, and district administrators are currently balancing their immediate needs with long-term goals.

Additionally, because many schools historically have suffered from budget cuts and underfunding due to larger economic factors, this sudden influx of funding has understandably caused decision fatigue. With an estimated $130 billion to allocate over the next three budget cycles, at the current rate, McKinsey & Co. estimates that nearly $20 billion in ESSER funds might remain unspent.


Addressing ESSER Spending Roadblocks

A survey conducted by McKinsey found that school districts face three primary challenges when it comes to deploying their ESSER funds:

  • Administrative hurdles
  • Talent shortages
  • Insufficient strategic planning and operational capacity

Of the 260 district decision-makers surveyed, including superintendents, assistant superintendents, chief business officers and chief technology officers, nearly 75% said they had struggled with a combination of compliance navigation, finalizing procurement and administrative challenges.

More than 61% of these decision-makers listed talent shortages in staffing and sourcing quality vendors and suppliers as a significant challenge.


Invention Project: A Customized ESSER Solution

As the deadline to spend your ESSER funds quickly approaches, it’s important to avoid making last-minute decisions and instead make one that can have a lasting impact on your students.

You can make an immediate difference by implementing Invention Project®, our ESSER-qualified PreK-8 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program. This program is proven to be effective for students facing academic challenges, as well as students in gifted and talented programs.

Developed by our team of invention education experts and informed by the lessons and stories of our National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees, each module of Invention Project helps students build confidence, and develop valuable skills and traits that will benefit them throughout their lives.

With educator resources including video tutorials, step-by-step curriculum guides and pre- and post-tests, Invention Project is entirely customizable, and features individually packaged materials and supplemental online resources to ensure stress-free implementation.


Learn More About How NIHF Can Become Your Trusted ESSER Partner

Need help navigating ESSER-related topics? We invite you to contact us today at 800-968-4332 or at [email protected]. Together, we can help today’s children transform into the innovators of tomorrow!

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