May 18 2021

Equity and Sustainability: Budgeting to Build Schools Back Better

Grantmakers for Education


May 18, 2021

Presentation slides

Virtual - Schools, districts and communities are facing myriad challenges as we emerge into a post-pandemic world. The massive influx of federal stimulus dollars adds enormous potential and further complexity. This webinar will help to build understanding of the magnitude of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding and its potential for short- and long-term impact, sustainable financial planning, resource equity, community partnership and more.

Aleesia Johnson, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, will share a district leader’s perspective on what young people, schools and districts need right now. Anu Malipatil, vice president, education at the Overdeck Family Foundation and Karen Hawley Miles, president and CEO of Education Resource Strategies, Inc. will help identify roles for philanthropy to play in supporting a strong and sustained recovery for schools within the communities they serve whether urban, suburban or rural. Grantmakers for Education Executive Director Celine Coggins will guide the discussion on the current challenges and exciting opportunities this moment provides and the potential for profound impact on young people, communities and a wide range of stakeholders now and into the future.

This is the second session in our series Education Post-COVID: Learning to Move Forward. The intersecting health, social and economic pandemics of 2020-2021 have disrupted American education and elevated critical issues into public awareness. With billions of recovery dollars about to make their way into the education system we have a moment to reflect on the lessons of past educational improvement efforts, and ​ensure funders are equipped to best support their partners rebuilding our education system in ways that are more equitable, just and humane. Stay tuned for more sessions in the series.


Aleesia Johnson
Indianapolis Public Schools

Aleesia Johnson has served as the superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Indiana’s largest public-school district, since July 2019 and is the first Black woman to lead in this role. Beginning as a middle school teacher, she has been an educator for 19 years, achieving success as a teacher, school leader, and administrator in both public charter and traditional district schools.

A native of Evansville, Indiana, Aleesia and her husband, Andre, have four children, three of whom are students in IPS. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Agnes Scott College, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Oakland City University, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan.

Aleesia is active in her community serving on the boards of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Enroll Indy, IUPUI Board of Advisors, and Teach For America-Indianapolis.


Anu Malipatil
Vice President, Education
Overdeck Family Foundation

Anu Malipatil is the Overdeck Family Foundation’s founding team member, bringing over 18 years of K-12 education and nonprofit sector experience. Anu works with the Trustees to set the vision, goals and priorities, and guides the leadership team, overseeing program, impact and learning, communications, and people/operations workstreams. Before OFF, Anu was a Regents Research Fund Fellow at the NY State Education Department, where she led the development of their statewide curriculum effort, and the Managing Director at Teach For America in NYC, where she helps build their first assessment bank and student achievement toolkits for math/science.

Anu is a NY Regional Board Member for Teach For America and a Founding Board Member for Coney Island Preparatory Charter School. She is a member of the Leap Ambassadors Community and the women’s leadership network, CHIEF.


Karen Hawley Miles
President and CEO
Education Resource Strategies, Inc.

Karen Hawley Miles is the CEO of Education Resource Strategies, Inc. She has worked with school systems nationwide to analyze and improve their funding systems, school-level resource use, and human capital and professional development systems. This work has two major components: partnering with system leaders to deeply analyze their resource use and then working side-by-side with them to change the resource strategies in ways that improve school performance. ERS focuses especially on helping systems to redesign their funding systems; create new schools that organize talent, time, and technology to maximize learning; restructure teaching to encourage individual and team effectiveness; and develop powerful school turnaround strategies.

Karen has taught school leaders at Harvard University, in school districts, and for New Leaders for New Schools. She has authored numerous articles and co-authored The Strategic School: Making the Most of People, Time and Money with Stephen Frank. She has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, specializing in school organization, change, and finance.


Celine Coggins
Executive Director
Grantmakers for Education

Celine Coggins has been an educator for more than two decades, with a track record as an innovator, leader and connector. Her work has always been deeply connected to teachers and disadvantaged schools. In 2007, she founded Teach Plus where she spent the next decade as CEO and grew the organization to over 30,000 teachers. Celine was recognized at the White House for her organization’s impact on public education.

A nationally-recognized expert on teacher leadership, education policy standards and accountability, and union politics, Celine has addressed audiences nationwide. She appears regularly in the media and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, among others. She is the author of three books, most recently How to Be Heard: Ten Lessons Teachers Need to Advocate for Their Students and Profession. Celine earned her Ph.D. in education policy analysis at Stanford University and is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


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