The COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 has had and will continue to have rippling repercussions that affect students, families, and educators for years to come. The pandemic also exacerbated and exposed long-standing inequities in the U.S. public school system that directly affect Black and Latino students. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) enacted in March 2021, nearly $200 billion has been allocated to our nation’s K-12 schools to aid in academic recovery, provide mental health supports, and upgrade school resources such as technology and ventilation systems. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for schools to right previous wrongs and better serve students of color and students from low-income backgrounds who have been marginalized for far too long.

Ed Trust has identified evidence-based strategies to solve unfinished learning caused by the pandemic that accelerate students’ learning, such as intensive tutoring, family engagement, and strong relationships with teachers. As states spend their federal relief dollars, Ed Trust will be watching closely to identify promising practices and offer recommendations for how states, districts and schools can address the needs of their students in an impactful way. Schools have an amazing opportunity to transform learning that prepares students for the 21st century. Together, we can get there.