Survey Methodology


Conducted by the EdWeek Research Center in Nov.-Dec. of 2022, the Allovue Education Finance Survey gathered perspectives from 1,303 US-based educators. Participants included 337 school district leaders, 340 principals/vice principals, and 626 teachers.  The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into educators' knowledge and perceptions related to K-12 education finance. 



What We Learned


After reviewing submissions from 1,000+ participants, we identified critical gaps in information—and opportunities for greater knowledge sharing—related to school budget processes. Here’s what else we discovered:

Pandemic relief funds were not seen as "transformational"
Only 21% of teachers and administrators say their district's ESSER dollars were sufficient to make a very significant difference.
Many do not know the cost of teachers' total compensation
86% of teachers, 73% of school leaders, and 66% of district leaders incorrectly estimated how much districts pay for teacher benefits, such as pensions, healthcare, and paid leave.
School-based administrators want more budget autonomy
School leaders control only 7-8% of their schools' total spending and most say they need more decision-making authority .

Listen to an on-demand webinar for the study highlights and an engaging discussion with ed finance experts on the implications for K-12 districts. You'll hear from:

  • Shashank Aurora, Chief Financial Officer | Des Moines Public Schools
  • Miguel Marco, Principal | Helen Wittmann Elementary, ABC Unified School District
  • Zahava Stadler, Project Director, Education Funding Equity Initiative | New America
  • Holly Kurtz, Director | EdWeek Research Center

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What Teachers & Administrators Had to Say


An elementary school principal from Arizona said ...

"The ESSER funding was a huge amount of money, and our district has struggled with spending it. We tried to hire more support teachers during a wake of teacher shortage. That led us to peel off classroom teachers to fill temporarily funded support roles—and then those teachers had to jump back in classrooms to fill the positions we couldn't hire for. Now those teachers are frustrated and leaving the profession and the teacher shortage continues to plague schools."


An assistant principal from Iowa said ...

“The funding from the state this past
year was approximately a 3% increase. With the small number of students we have (425), the increase was not even enough to cover the district's portion of the increase in health care premiums. Which means any increase in expenditures due to inflation, any increases in wages, or any unplanned expenses all had to come from savings, which has been decreasing steadily due to lack of funding for the past several years.”


A high school math teacher from Connecticut said ...

“Our demographic has changed over the last 10 years. This is primarily due to an influx of students from other countries whose first language is not English. I'm not sure if the per-pupil spending needs to be increased or reallocated, but the reality is they are expecting educators to yield the same results with little curriculum support. In that regard, I'd like to see funds directly impact the learning of our current student body and the educators responsible for them.”


A district finance director in North Dakota said ...

“Our district has received a considerable drop in enrollment following the pandemic. With the uncertainty of enrollment numbers increasing, we decided to keep staff employed. This has cost our
district considerably...I am very concerned about our budgets and funding once ESSER ends. Hopefully, our district will have the proper funding and/or enrollment numbers in place to keep us stable. Otherwise, we will be forced to lay off a considerable number of staff.”


An elementary school principal from Idaho said ...

“To retain our classified staff, we had to increase hourly wages. This was funded by ESSER funds and our rainy-day account. That money will be gone in one year and we will be forced to rely on supplemental levies to maintain the status quo. AND, even though we raised wages significantly, people can still make much more at McDonald's.”




An elementary school principal in Michigan said ...

“We work with anger, frustration, and violence on varying levels on a daily basis. When we ask for a counselor, therapy dog, etc., we are turned down. Buildings do not have much say over their budget and administrators are not able to put money toward what they know their building needs.”




Press Coverage

Explore media coverage of the 2023 Allovue Education Finance Survey.

Inflated Costs, Growing Needs: Why Educators Are Pessimistic About School Budgets
Read More from EdWeek
Allovue Announces Results of K-12 Finance Survey, Introduces Education Spending Confidence Index
Read the Press Release
Inflated Costs, Growing Needs: Why Educators Are Pessimistic About School Budgets
Read More from EdWeek
Allovue Announces Results of K-12 Finance Survey, Introduces Education Spending Confidence Index
Read the Press Release

View Full Survey Results

The  Allovue Education Finance Survey examined educators' perceptions of public schools' financial outlook, ESSER funds, teacher compensation, and principals' level of budget control.

Results indicate:

  • Teachers and administrators share misconceptions about school finance.

  • There are varying beliefs and opinions across roles that may have the potential to impact leaders' abilities to assess the need for change and propose workable solutions. 


Presenting Data
Allovue x Edweek Research WHITE