Burbio School Tracker 7/10:  States of School Board Meetings

This we look at terms used in school board meetings across different states with examples from facilities, academic programs, and school culture, plus update how many ESSER III plans have changed

1.  Burbio tracks the amount of ESSER III funding that has been spent by districts nationwide, and also has compiled over 7,000 searchable district plans representing over 83% of K-12 students and over $93 billion in spending.  Detailed charts featuring over 75 spending categories can be found on Burbio's ESSER III summary page.   

Our team of data analysts regularly reviews ESSER III plans for updates.  Below is a list of states where over 50% of the plans have had material changes since originally being issued (some plan changes are merely administrative or don't involve substantive amounts of funding).   A few notes:

  • Hawaii, which has just one state-wide district, and did change its plan, is not listed below.

  • In New Jersey, the state recently reissued all district plans in a centralized format that replaced those originally posted on local sites.  In that state, 100% of the plans have changed in Burbio's system due to the new formatting, even as the majority of plans did not change their intent.   

  • Nationally we have found that roughly 25% of ESSER III plans have been updated since originally being published. 


2.   Burbio is now tracking school board meeting minutes covering over 50% of the K-12 public school population.  We are growing the database and documenting the history of meeting minutes over time.  School board meetings cover all facets of school district operations, and partners use the information to determine district intent around purchasing decisions.  This week we look at terminology used in board meetings across different states over the course of the Spring.   A few notes:

  • Our searchable document library covers districts within each of the states below that comprise over half the state's student population.

  • We searched school board meeting minutes covering the last four months. 

  • If a district mentioned a term in multiple board meetings over the period, it only counts as one.  So for example if a state had 100 districts in our survey, and ten school boards mention HVAC in two different meetings, it only counts as "ten" - or 10 percent - in the figures. 

  • The percentages are by district count, not weighted for student population.  

We see highly specific references to construction, infrastructure, technology and furniture initiatives in board meetings.   For our first chart we searched for HVAC.  Over 60% of Florida school districts have discussed HVAC at least once this Spring:


Next up is career and technical education.  For this we searched for two terms, "CTE" and "Career and Technical Education."   In five of the six states over half the districts referenced initiatives during the period:  


In our next examples we look at three terms related to school culture.   The first is discipline.  Over 75% of California districts have used this term in board minutes:


Next up is the term equity.  In previous blogs we have noted the term being widely used nationally in ESSER III plans but we had never looked at regional breakdowns.  School board meetings offer a contemporary look at the prevalence of the term: 


Our final school culture term for this week is mental health.   Of the seven charts presented this week, this term is the one where California (68%) and Florida (61%) are the closest in terms of percentages: 


We now shift gears back to an academic program, ELA.  For this we kept it simple and searched for two terms, "ELA" and "English Language Arts."  Clients in this space will often add more specific wording around reading programs.   That said, even with just those terms the programming is widely referenced: 


Final example for this week is professional development: 


For more specific analysis we run combinations of terms that allow for detailed identification of initiatives,  and we will be applying generative AI to document searches that will provide context for partners later this quarter.  

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