Boston Schools Targeting Aid Based on Data-Driven Planning Tool

Boston Public Schools plans to distribute federal recovery funds directly to schools based on clear definitions of student needs. This approach gives principals the flexibility to respond to needs in their schools and to pilot new solutions, yet ensures that recovery funds are targeted to buildings that need it most. The district used a Racial Equity Planning Tool to determine allocations. This tool disaggregates student achievement data on standardized assessments by race, students with disabilities, former and current English learners, and students who are economically disadvantaged.

We are spotlighting this because using a data-driven approach to the distribution of federal relief funds, then providing principals with maximum flexibility to address their specific local challenges, is an innovative approach to meeting student needs. The use of an equity tool to target resource allocation is also noteworthy.

Reviewer Analysis

Learning Heroes

This is how data should be used. Finding needs based on objective facts, and deploying resources accordingly. - Dr. Eyal Bergman

National Parents Union

While “maximum flexibility” can be helpful, building level leadership also needs guidance and best practices around how best to address the identified needs and how those needs have been identified. - Keri Rodrigues

The Rural Alliance

We appreciate the data driven approach to determine the allocations and the flexibility for the principals. We also like localizing the solution to meet the challenges and the needs of students. - Kevin Jacka


Principals deserve the autonomy to be decision makers on these funds while also being deserving of support and analysis to ensure equitable and logical choices with one-time money.

Leslie Villegas

This approach recognizes the disparate impact the pandemic has had on students and seeks to maximize the resources available which should, inevitably, uncover a need among EL populations in various schools.

New Leaders

This plan gives principals the flexibility to respond to the needs of their school community and uses data to identify disparities and allocate funds equitably. Great to see!

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