Category Archives: Coronavirus

White House summit pushes states to reopen schools — with safety in mind

9 Jul
One day after President Donald Trump tweeted, “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” senior health and education officials said at a June 7 White House summit that reopening schools this fall is a necessity. But to do so safely, health and safety precautions eschewed by the president since the pandemic began will need to be followed. The “Summit on Safely Reopening America’s Schools” presented a more measured perspective than a call with governors that preceded it, in which Trump and...

California leads multistate lawsuit to protect CARES aid for public schools

8 Jul
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday, July 7, that he is leading a multistate lawsuit with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel against U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over the interim rule for how public schools distribute K–12 CARES Act money to private schools. Becerra, CSBA and many other public education organizations argue that the rule threatens tens of millions of dollars in California meant to help K-12 public schools confront the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic....

CDC releases new school guidance, does not recommended universal COVID-19 testing

6 Jul
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 30 released new guidance, “Interim Considerations for K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing.” The document notes that testing for COVID-19, along with symptom screening and contact tracing, are effective strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus. “Schools should determine, in collaboration with state, tribal, territorial, and local health officials … whether to implement any testing strategy, and if so, how to best do so,” the document reads. The guidance, however,...

Governor signs 2020–21 budget package; CSBA webinar dives into details

30 Jun
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night signed the 2020–21 state budget that leans heavily on deferrals in lieu of cuts to K–12 education funding and counts on significant additional federal funding to bolster schools financially in their monumental task to safely reopen schools. In a CSBA webinar on June 29, which drew nearly 500 attendees, experts offered insights into budget implications for schools and other policy changes during COVID-19 (view the slideshow presentation). Breaking down the finances and deferrals While...

State budget provisions complicate school reopening under COVID-19 conditions; Mega-deferrals established and major cuts avoided

24 Jun
pencils and coins
While touted by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders as preserving K–12 funding and positioning schools to reopen this fall, the 2020–21 state budget trailer bill language strips local educational agencies of critical flexibility needed to safely and effectively resume instruction. Distance learning Assembly Bill 77 states that in-person instruction should be offered to the greatest extent possible, only allowing distance learning under two circumstances: On an LEA or schoolwide level as a result of an order or guidance from...

Mandated reporters help ensure the safety and well-being of children during COVID-19

23 Jun
public school building
While learning loss has been at the forefront of concerns about the impacts of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shuttering of schools across the country poses additional risks for children who may experience abuse and neglect in their households. The economic crisis has brought financial stress to millions of families that have lost income and are experiencing food and housing insecurity. Coupled with more time at home due to shelter-in-place orders, these factors make abuse and neglect...

Revised playbook offers chronic absenteeism strategies amidst COVID-19

22 Jun
The Attendance Playbook — originally released in 2019 by the nonprofit Attendance Works and Georgetown University-based think tank FutureEd — has been updated to account for the challenges posed by transitioning to fully virtual or blended learning models. The resource, Attendance Playbook: Smart Strategies for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the COVID Era, contains strategies to address mild to severe student chronic absence and divides strategies into three tiers of intervention. It also identifies the problem each intervention solves and highlights...

Education leaders call for greater funding for COVID-19 challenges in U.S. House Committee hearing

19 Jun
The overarching theme of a recent U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee hearing echoed what many in education have been repeating since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: schools need more money to ensure the safety and high-quality education of all students. Witnesses spoke during the June 15 hearing of how local educational agencies have thus far met the nutritional needs of students, and in some cases were able to accommodate technology and internet access needs among their...

Legislators call out resources, liability and lack of direction as concerns in reopening schools

18 Jun
With local educational agencies equipped with federal, state and county guidance on reopening campuses for the 2020–21 academic year, a June 16 joint Assembly Education Committee hearing cast concerns about the practicality and affordability of welcoming students back to the classroom. A yet-to-be finalized state budget and ongoing education funding concerns served as an ominous backdrop for the proceedings. CSBA, both independently and through its membership in the Education Coalition, comprised of the state’s nine largest statewide education associations, continues...

Budget negotiations to intensify as Legislature meets June 15 deadline

17 Jun
The Legislature on Monday, June 15, passed a 2020–21 budget bill that staves off immediate and drastic cuts to K–12 education, however, the spending plan is far from final as negotiations with the Governor’s Office continue. The Legislature’s action meets the requirement that lawmakers pass a balanced budget by midnight on June 15; Gov. Gavin Newsom has 12 days to act on the measure. The two sides will continue to negotiate and adopt an amended budget that will help answer...