Burbio School Tracker 4/2: Proposed, Not Approved

This week we look at proposed state-level grant programs for 2024-25, changes in priorities in post-Covid strategic plans, mentions of social media and phone bans in school board meetings, and a chart breaking down reading curriculum and assessment service providers in Tennessee. More below:

1. Burbio aggregates strategic plans for over 70% of the K-12 school population. Clients access the information through customized "district-level profiles" featuring keyword analysis specific to their industry, as well as through comprehensive, sortable formats that allow for market-level analysis and targeting. These plans are the most recent issued by districts and range from 2018/19 to those issued in the last thirty days.     

This week we look at trends in terminology using the far ends of that spectrum, comparing plans issued during 2018/19 to plans that have been issued in 2023/24, which represents well over a year after Covid disruptions were impacting day-to-day schooling. There are over 400 district plans covering 10% of K-12 in the 2018/19 dataset, and over 800 district plans representing over 20% of K-12 in the most recent analysis. 

Note: For California districts we gather LCAPs, which are 100 page, detailed plans updated annually. We don't include them in this analysis as they skew the figures due to the high frequency of all terminology that appear in them. 

Below is a chart showing terminology found in the documents that is increasing the most: 

Strategic Plan Increases

Below is a list of terminology that decreased the most:

Strategic Plan Decreases

2.  Burbio's State-Level Funding Tracker features state-specific grants to K-12 schools, covering all state departments, in addition to Federal grants where states can tailor the criteria. As Covid-era federal K-12 support expires, discussions around incremental funding will increasingly turn to the state level.   

In addition to recently announced and awarded grants, we have begun documenting grants proposed for 2024-25 state budgets. While the grants have not been approved, this exercise allows suppliers and policy makers to gain more specific visibility into funding sources that will appear next year. Among the examples:

  • In New Jersey, the budget includes "a $2.5 million allocation for a grant program to help school districts acquire literacy screening tools, which will help target resources to children most in need of support."
  • In Colorado, the Governor is requesting "$8.0 million (for a) one-time State Education Fund . . .  to bolster academic enrichment and extended learning time programming related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as part of the Colorado Academic Accelerator Grant Program."
  • In Maine the state has budgeted continuation of  "The Innovative Instruction and Tutoring Grant Program Fund . . . established to encourage the facilitation of innovative instruction and tutoring programs, including so-called high-impact tutoring, that address learning loss or unfinished learning through the use of project-based learning and other interdisciplinary approaches."
  • In Pennsylvania, the Governor is proposing $15 million in Career and Technical Education Equipment Grants, identical to this current year and triple 2022-23.
  • In Utah, the Governor has recommended creating a $200 million, one-time, Innovation Grant Fund to expand effective and innovative programs at the local level. 
  • In Minnesota, the Computer Science Program Expansion Grant aims to enable districts to do just that, and sets aside $4 million. 

We update these types of prospective programs continually and will monitor their status as budgets are approved. 

3. Burbio's School Board Meeting Tracker covers school board meetings for just under 2,000 school districts each month, representing over 50% of the K-12 school population. We introduced the service at the beginning of Q2 2023 and have been expanding. This week we highlight mentions of key terms related to cell phones, social media, and bullying.  A few notes:

  • For Q2, our coverage set included just over 40% of K-12 students, before expanding to over 50% for Q3 and Q4.   
  • The chart below documents the percentage of districts that mentioned the term at least once in the quarter.
  • For cell phones we searched "cell phones" "phone ban," "student phones" and "cell phone."  Social media searches included the term "social media" and major social media sites (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snap and Snapchat). Bullying searched "bullying" and "cyber-bullying."   

Blog - Board Meetings - Keywords - Social Media-Phones

We also looked at the combined references of the terms of above for all of Q3 and Q4, meaning we calculated any school board that mentioned the terms over the whole six month period. For that, "Social Media" was mentioned at least once by 38.9% of school boards between July and December, "Bullying" 33.8%, and "Cell Phone" terms in 12.1% of board meetings.

4. Burbio's growing list of datasets include strategic plans, school board documents, ESSER III plans, district checkbook registers, CapEx plans and more. As we discover important documentation widely available in individual states we collect and include them for use by clients.   
This week we analyze Foundation Literary Skills Plans, which are issued by Tennessee districts for students in grades K-5 and updated annually.  For this analysis we examined 133 district plans covering over 90% of Tennessee's public school students. Below is a list of terms mentioned in the plans, which include company and program names across areas such as screeners, professional development, curriculum and intervention.  The chart shows the number of districts who mentioned each term at least once: 

Tennessee Chart


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