Sources of Evidence for Educational Programs

State Departments of Education are receiving their third round of funding from the federal government, also known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds. This infusion of funding is the federal government’s largest ever single investment in our schools.

When the money arrives at the state level, 90% of it will have to pass through to local education agencies (LEAs). Of the remaining state funding:

  • 5% of the total must be allocated to the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss
  • 1% must be allocated to evidence-based summer enrichment programs
  • 1% must be allocated to evidence-based comprehensive afterschool programs

At the district level, 20% of the LEA allocation must be used to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and ensure that those interventions respond to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups.

A key theme running throughout these requirements is that funding must be spent on evidence-based interventions, programs, and materials. So, where should districts and SEAs turn to find such evidence-based practices? Below, we have compiled a list of helpful resources:

After identifying potential evidence-based strategies, states and LEAs can turn to WestEd’s Evidence-Based Improvement Guide for next steps. This guide provides a set of tools to help states and school districts understand and plan for implementing evidence-based improvement strategies, including tools that facilitate the review and comparison of interventions that target an identified need and align with a given context.

Evidence-Based Improvement Guide: