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Fall 2022 Update
In the fall of 2022, New Hampshire published a financial transparency tool to show how school districts have used their COVID relief funds. Although opportunities for advocacy around how these funds will be spent have mostly passed, we have updated this page with a brief summary of what we found during the week of November 17th, 2022. Please note that the tool is updated weekly and we encourage you to use the transparency tool if you require current numbers.
Financial Transparency Tracking Tool
Community Engagement Recap
- Information about the Nashua School District’s plans are available at https://www.nashua.edu/domain/1014.
- Nashua provided the public an opportunity to provide input by conducting virtual meetings with the teacher union, before/after school providers, Pre-K, Special Education, English Language Learner (ELL), and social workers.
- Nashua School District plans to host additional meetings for input.
What We Found
- The New Hampshire Financial Transparency tool shows Nashua’s focus is staffing (30.8%), contractors (27.2%) and technology (12.6%).
- In 2021, Nashua spent $6,114,271 to address learning loss, 1,048,808 on mental health services, 808,404 on family engagement. Summary of ESSER Funding as of 12 30 2021.
- The Nashua school district will utilize assessments to identify the impact of lost instructional time on student learning. It will use funds for evidence based interventions including learning, enrichment, extended day and extended year, and comprehensive after school programs.
- It will provide tutoring for groups, individuals, virtual, and supplemental.
- The Nashua School District will focus on student supports for mental health.
We could not determine whether or not the Nashua school district is distributing its ARP ESSER funding in an equitable manner in order to assist the students who need it the most, including students with disabilities. We were unable to find plan updates*.
What Can You Do?
A requirement of this federal funding is to engage in ongoing meaningful communication with the public.
- Email email@example.com or ask your your school board representative, school principal, or Superintendent Garth McKinney, whether any opportunities are planned for families and stakeholders to provide input on the ongoing use of these funds and if they aren’t, request that such opportunities are made available in the near future. You can use the links above to address your letter appropriately.
- Provide input on how the Nashua school district should be spending these funds. We have created a Template Letter with some disability-related priorities that you can use or reference.
What we know
- The Nashua School District is receiving $47 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The grant requires that 20% of this (or $9.4 million) is specifically allocated towards ‘learning loss recovery’ which is understood to include special education supports and services.
- The district’s original plan outlining how it hoped to spend the funds is available at https://www.nashua.edu/domain/1014.
What we found
- We could not identify programs or resources that:
- Target students with disabilities, students who were struggling before the pandemic, and students who belong to marginalized communities or were unable to access instruction due to limited access to technology.
- Identify the extent of learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Address students’ emotional and behavioral challenges in a manner that will support students’ success and achievement
- Promote the delivery of high-quality, individualized school to post-secondary school transition services.
What we recommend
- On February 15, 2022, we sent the district a letter with specific recommendations for meaningful stakeholder engagement. We have not received a response, though the district did create a dedicated webpage with information on the use of ARP ESSER III funds. Additional recommendations included the following:
- Hold dedicated public meetings for discussing ARP ESSER III fund allocation, at least every six months and upon any major changes or additions to the use of funds plan.
- Provide alternative and accessible ways for the public to provide their input during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as an online survey, telephone number, etc. Make this information available and easy to find on the district website, school websites, and other easily accessible locations.
- Publicize opportunities for consultation and ways for families to find up-to-date information via social media, school email, and other relevant platforms.
- Designate an individual or team within the district who stakeholders may contact with questions or comments regarding the district’s use of ESSER III funds (e.g. school board members, district grants manager, etc.). List the contact information for this individual or team on the school website including both a telephone number and email address.
- Download our letter to the Nashua School District: Recommendations for Meaningful Stakeholder Consultation Regarding ARP ESSER III Funds
- Nashua’s plan should distribute funding in an equitable manner to assist the students who need it the most, including students with disabilities. A letter with our specific recommendations is available HERE.
*Six Month Updates
School districts were required to provide the NH Department of Education (NHDOE) with an update of how they are using these funds by February 23, 2022. This deadline was recently moved to March 9, 2022. On March 9th, we reached out to the NH DOE requesting access to these six month updates but were told it would take a while for them to be posted publicly. We will continue to monitor their status and will update our analysis accordingly.
Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to
eliminating barriers for people with disabilities across New Hampshire.
DRC is the federally designated protection and advocacy agency for New Hampshire
and has authority under federal law to conduct investigations in cases of probable abuse or neglect.
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