WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, November 29, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and The Heritage Foundation will co-sponsor “The K-12 Education System’s Imminent Financial Chaos Luncheon,” at the National Press Club from 12:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m ET. The event will feature keynote speaker Marguerite Roza, Ph.D., Research Professor and Director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, and an issue expert panel discussion on the looming K-12 education “fiscal cliff.”

IWF’s Education Freedom Center Director, Ginny Gentles, and The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy director, Lindsey Burke, will lead the event. Its purpose is to address the imminent ending of the $190 billion in supplemental K-12 education funding (ESSER) provided by the federal government to states and local school districts. The end of the federal pandemic-era supplemental funding will mean financial chaos for many public school districts next year, especially as districts face declining enrollment.

“School districts across the country treated temporary federal Covid-era education funding as if the $190 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) was permanent, rather than one-time ‘emergency’ (literally in the name) funding,” said Gentles. 

“ESSER was designed to help schools open in the early days of the pandemic and then address learning loss caused by prolonged school closures. Districts will transition to a post-ESSER budget next year, and face key budget decisions over the next few months. Parents need to pay attention and engage in the budget process to ensure that the needs of students, rather than adult employees, are prioritized,” Gentles added. 

The panel will include speakers from various education-related backgrounds, including Ben Scafidi from Kennesaw State University, Allison Socol with The Education Trust, Michael Hansen from Brookings Institution, and Dan Lips from Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP). The panel guests will focus on the steps district leaders and parents should take in preparation for the imminent ending of ESSER funds. 



  • Marguerite Roza, Georgetown University


  • Ben Scafidi, Kennesaw State University
  • Allison Socol, The Education Trust
  • Michael Hansen, Brookings Institution
  • Dan Lips, FREOPP

WHAT: The K-12 Education System’s Imminent Financial Chaos Luncheon

WHEN: Wednesday, November 29 

12:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 

WHERE: National Press Club

529 14th Street NW

Washington, DC 20045

Media Inquiries: [email protected]



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. 

IWF’s Education Freedom Center (EFC) advances school choice and empowers parents by advocating for a more vibrant education marketplace. The EFC informs the public about the benefits of education freedom and highlights school choice as a solution to the power imbalance between parents and unresponsive school districts.