Aug 16, 2021
The authors of this report surveyed 292 school district leaders between June 1, 2021, and July 2, 2021, to ask about staff turnover, staff hiring, and districts' financial outlooks at the end of the 2020–2021 school year. Although districts have not experienced much-feared budget and staffing crises during the pandemic, they might yet.
This report presents school district leaders' views about staff turnover, hiring, and districts' financial outlooks at the end of the 2020–2021 school year.
Based on the survey responses of 292 district leaders from the American School District Panel (ASDP), the authors found that teacher and principal turnover had not increased substantially beyond pre-pandemic rates in most districts. They also found that a majority of school districts have increased or are trying to increase their number of staff—especially for substitute teachers and mental health staff—for the 2021–2022 school year.
District leaders also reported budget concerns. Four in ten district leaders anticipate a fiscal cliff around the time coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) federal aid expires in September 2024, and over half of the districts that anticipate a funding increase from federal stimulus funds are concerned about their ability to spend the money, even though virtually all district leaders said that they have some level of discretion in how to spend those funds.
Although districts' reported impacts have not led to much-feared budget and staffing crises for their school districts, these survey findings suggest systemic problems that could outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.