It’s the multibillion-dollar question that business-to-education (B2E) marketers are trying to predict: Once the federal COVID stimulus money has been spent, which programs and services will K-12 school systems continue to support with their own budgets—and which ones are destined for the scrap heap?
The pandemic relief aid has given schools an opportunity to experiment with new innovations in support of their staff and students. However, once the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding expires, “we do expect there will be a winnowing of some of the solutions and experiences that districts have pursued,” says Adam Newman, founding partner at B2E consulting firm Tyton Partners.
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In a recent CB&A Expert Series webinar, Newman revealed important insights that his firm gathered from surveying K-12 educators and administrators about their priorities before, during and after the pandemic. The information he shared can help B2E companies understand the key issues facing schools today and well into the future.
3 Priorities for B2E Marketers
For education marketers, the “winnowing” that Newman alluded to will require understanding where, why and how their products and services are creating the biggest impact for customers.
“Our belief is, the source of funds is less important than the value you are delivering,” Newman says. Service providers who are focused on delivering value for their customers “will insulate themselves from the ebb and flow of the dollars that come and go.”
With that said, the research conducted by Tyton Partners suggests which issues are likely to remain priorities for K-12 leaders for the foreseeable future:
Priority #1: 57 percent of K-12 leaders identified “accelerating learning to close achievement gaps as a key priority during the 2021-22 school year, and 38 percent say it will continue to be a priority three years from now.
Priority #2: Two in five K-12 leaders said “reducing staffing shortages” was a priority in 2021-22—an even greater percentage (44 percent) believe it will be so in three years.
Priority #3: Fifty-five percent of K-12 leaders cited “ensuring student/staff well-being” as a current priority, and 26 percent say they‘ll still be focusing on this issue in three years.
“This is the new reality. Not just for this year, but for the next several years,” Newman says. ”To the extent that you are a partner to K-12 districts, thinking about how your (business) model addresses these issues is going to be paramount.”
For more insights into K-12 leaders’ needs and priorities, you can watch the full Expert Series webinar with Adam Newman here.