by Dr. Robert Luebke
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
A consensus has been emerging that tutoring is the best way to remedy learning loss (See here, here, and here).
This is no surprise to parents. However, schools have been slow to respond. Here in Wake County the district is partnering with a local nonprofit to deliver tutoring. However, tutors are expected to volunteer.
North Carolina public schools have received close to $6.2 billion in COVID relief funds. About $4 billion of that amount has been spent, while $2.2 billion remains in bank accounts.
The American Rescue Plan, the authorizing legislation for much of this funding, specifically states that at least 20 percent of funds must be used to help address learning loss. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina public schools have spent $53.8 million on tutoring.[i] That’s about 1.33 percent of all covid relief expenditures.
The percentage of Covid funds spent on tutoring, for the five largest districts in North Carolina is as follows:
|School District||Percentage of District Covid Expenditures Spent on Tutoring|
|Wake County Public Schools||.13%|
|Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools||.16%|
|Guilford County Public Schools||2.00%|
|Winston-Salem/Forsythe County Public Schools||2.07%|
|Cumberland County Schools||.82%|
It seems tutoring isn’t a part of school district plans. The need is there. The money is there. It’s time for North Carolina to get serious about addressing learning loss.
Data used in these calculations are available here
[i] Tutoring expenditures is the sum of the expenditure categories “Tutor (within the Instructional day) and “Tutorial Pay”