As they manage historic challenges in teaching and learning, school districts are already looking ahead — and laying out spending priorities for next fiscal year.
In a new special report, EdWeek Market Brief examines where districts are likely to increase or cut spending in fiscal 2023-24 across an array of areas that include core and supplemental curriculum, social-emotional learning, devices, assessment, data platforms, internet connectivity, and more.
Many school systems begin identifying possible spending priorities for the next fiscal year — which typically starts in July — as early as the fall semester of the previous year. And it’s common for them to begin having detailed discussions about specific budget plans in March and April, if not sooner.
So for education companies, the time to explain the value of their products to district decision-makers is fast approaching.
The new special report is based on a nationally representative survey of district and school leaders conducted by the EdWeek Research Center at the start of the school year, as well as on other surveys conducted throughout the academic year. Those survey results are supplemented with insights offered by EdWeek Market Brief’s editorial team.
The report specifically offers:
- Survey data on district spending priorities for fiscal 2023-24 in different product categories, including core and supplemental math and ELA curriculum; social-emotional learning; devices; learning management and student information systems; classroom, interim, and summative assessments; and diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused resources.
- Top priorities for spending federal stimulus dollars, and a comparison of how those priorities have changed since last year.
- Data on the extent to which district officials expect macro-economic conditions and other factors — such as inflation, student enrollment declines, the overall state of the economy, and the drying up of federal stimulus funding — to affect their spending next year.
- Survey data on what district administrators regard as their biggest professional challenges, in everything from teacher recruitment to improving school climate to using technology effectively.
- Numerous insights on how districts’ product spending varies by the poverty level and size of the school system, and by region of the country.
The results provide important intel to education company officials at a time when the districts they serve work through a series of daunting challenges.
District and school leaders are trying to help students recover from enormous academic setbacks stemming from the pandemic, while also coping with low teacher morale and high staff turnover. And while many K-12 systems’ budgets currently allow for robust spending, they’re worried about the loss of federal stimulus aid after next year.
All of those forces are affecting district buying, or they will soon. To download a copy of School District Purchasing Priorities, 2023-24, go here.
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