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  • Erica Peterson

Avoid the one-time money trap

In California, the culmination of higher-than-expected annual revenues and significant federal funding has created a historic investment in education. Governor Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget revision provides a record-level of public school funding at $93.7 billion, nearly $14,000 per pupil through Proposition 98. Additionally, it proposes one-time funds to K-14 for $8.1 billion based on a district’s ADA. This funding will be released in the 2022-23 school year.

Golfer hitting the ball out of a sand trap.

Too often I hear of districts investing one-time monies into ongoing costs like hiring for a new position, however, once the initial investment is gone, the position becomes an unfunded liability. That’s a lot like thinking you’ve hit a golf ball straight up to the green, but it actually landed in the sand.

If I have one piece of financial advice for districts this year, it’s this: Avoid the one-time money trap, invest in recurring revenue streams.

Success in the year ahead requires doubling down on evidence-based attendance interventions that will out-last this temporary influx of funds. Attendance improvement is the only investment that can generate an exponential return, both in academic outcomes and revenue.

Share your thoughts or let me know if you'd like some pointers for hitting out of the sand trap at

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