District-Level Resource Allocation during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Understanding How Districts Leveraged Federal Stimulus Funds (DSI-SRP)

This DSI-SRP fellowship funded Jingyi Chen to work in the laboratory of Christopher Candelaria in the Department of Public Policy and Education during the summer of 2022. Jingyi is a senior with majors in Human & Organizational Development and Mathematics.

Over the summer, Jingyi worked with Professor Christopher Candelaria to analyze district and school-level allocation decisions regarding the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) in Tennessee. Jingyi imported and cleaned the ESSER data from 144 districts in Tennessee using Stata based on reports available from the state department of education. While working on the project, she used regression analysis to estimate the relationship between district allocation decisions and student demographic characteristics. She also gained experience using shapefiles to visualize the allocation patterns of ESSER funds across the following four categories: Foundations, which includes technology and internet; Educators, which includes teacher retention and class size reduction; Academics, which includes tutoring programs and early reading programs; and Readiness, which includes academic advising and mental health across districts.

In addition to receiving support through a DSI-SRP fellowship, this project was supported and facilitated by the DSI Data Science Team through their regular summer workshops and demo sessions.