Duane Morris Government Strategies

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State K-12 Educational Response to COVID-19

States School Closures

Nearly all U.S. states, territories, and federal agencies have ordered or recommended that schools remain closed this academic year.[1]  Over half of US K-12 students are now home for the school year.[2]  The pandemic has caused rapid shifting and problem-solving as districts, schools, administrators, educators, and even parents and students grapple with new demands while meeting requirements and obligations.

State[3]State Status[4]Closure Status[5]
AlabamaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
AlaskaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
American SamoaState ordered closureOrdered closed until further notice
ArizonaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
ArkansasState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
Bureau of Indian EducationClosures determined at school/district levelsVaries by school/district
CaliforniaState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
ColoradoState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
ConnecticutState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
DelawareState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
Department of Defense Education ActivityState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
District of ColumbiaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
FloridaState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
GeorgiaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
GuamState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
HawaiiState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
IdahoState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
IllinoisState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
IndianaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
IowaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
KansasState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
KentuckyState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
LouisianaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MaineState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
MarylandState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MassachusettsState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MichiganState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MinnesotaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MississippiState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MissouriState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
MontanaClosure expiredVaries by school/district
NebraskaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
NevadaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
New HampshireState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
New JerseyState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
New MexicoState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
New YorkState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
North CarolinaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
North DakotaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
Northern MarianasState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
OhioState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
OklahomaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
OregonState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
PennsylvaniaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
Puerto RicoState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
Rhode IslandState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
South CarolinaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
South DakotaState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
TennesseeState recommended closureRecommended closed for the academic year
TexasState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
U.S. Virgin IslandsState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
UtahState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
VermontState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
VirginiaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
WashingtonState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
West VirginiaState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
WisconsinState ordered closureOrdered closed for the academic year
WyomingClosure expiredVaries by school/district

State COVID Response Education Legislation[6]

State legislatures, often working in conjunction with state or federal agencies, are confronting the problems for K-12 education created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting school closures.

Arizona

Arizona enacted House Bill 2902 provides for the reconciliation of the K12 state budget.[7]  Enacted House Bill 2910 provides procedures regarding public school closures due to COVID-19 and appropriates monies.[8]  Notably, Arizona also passed Senate Bill 1692, which allows their Superintendent of Public Instruction to transfer funds from the state General Fund (GF) appropriation for basic state aid to results-based funding programs for FY2020 without review.[9]  Arizona legislature enacted  Senate Bill 1693 to ensure that despite public school closures, school employees will continue to be paid by the district, and it waves instructional hour requirements, extends testing windows for state assessments, and requires public schools to continue to offer educational opportunities.[10]

Arkansas

Arkansas House Bill 1010 reappropriates the balances of capital improvement appropriations for the state Department of Education (DOE), Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.[11]

California

Senate Bill 117 provides that due to COVID-19, instructional days/minutes requirements will be deemed to have been met during school closures and extends the window for the English learner assessment, unless otherwise waived by the Superintendent.  This bill also waives attendance and instructional time requirements and extends other assessment windows.  Under the bill, the state DOE must consider the impact of school closures on special education and ensures that obligations imposed by federal law cannot be waived by states.  Additionally, it appropriates $100,000,000 from the California GF for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation needs by local education agencies.

Idaho

Idaho enacted House Bill 576, which establishes the Public School Digital Content and Curriculum Fund to provide classrooms with digital content and curriculum to impact student achievement and improve performance.[12]  Idaho also enacted several bills making further appropriations to support education in the upcoming fiscal year.[13]

Iowa

After first failing to pass House Bill 2625, Iowa enacted Senate Bill 2408, which provides instructional time waivers for school districts and accredited nonpublic schools, citing the need for the prevention and containment of coronavirus.[14]

Kansas

Kansas legislature enacted Senate Bill 142 to address educational concerns such as the duration of the school term.  The bill authorizes the grant of waivers from school term requirements during disaster periods.  It includes a statement of intent that school districts continue to pay hourly employees.

Kentucky

House Bill 458, enacted in Kentucky, clarifies eligibility of students for home and hospital instructions and requires the State Board of Education (BOE) to disseminate administrative regulations for such instruction.  The bill also clarifies requirements for exemption from compulsory attendance due to conditions and authorizes instruction to be delivered through in-person, electronic, or other regulatorily established means.  Enacted Senate Bill 177 addresses impacts on school districts as it relates to the pandemic.  The bill authorizes a school operating under a nontraditional instructional plan to request approval for additional student attendance days that include distant and virtual learning.  It also grants flexibility with instructional time and days, while requiring the DOE to seek waivers for reimbursement for the provision of meals and waives statewide assessment and accountability requirements.  Importantly, it also requests flexibility on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requirements.


[1] https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/18/us/schools-closed-coronavirus/index.html

[2] https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/16/835941050/nearly-half-of-u-s-public-school-students-are-home-for-the-school-year

[3] https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html

[4] https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html

[5] https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html

[6]https://www.ncsl.org/research/education/covid-19-education-bill-tracking-database.aspx

[7]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:AZ2020000H2902&ciq=thatcher&client_md=35f6f71e88ac07bb3caf4f3c585e662c&mode=current_text

[8]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:AZ2020000H2910&ciq=thatcher&client_md=304a417917c04c9badb9b8f8a6eac204&mode=current_text

[9]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:AZ2020000S1692&ciq=thatcher&client_md=8849ab9cffffbf8d47c511e21bf84f13&mode=current_text

[10]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:AZ2020000S1693&ciq=thatcher&client_md=927747f001d23c75bc1a0a16b60d1bcf&mode=current_text

[11]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:AR2020000H1010&ciq=thatcher&client_md=51c5ab4b39d7c9b0a0d307c73dc8da68&mode=current_text

[12]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:ID2020000H576&ciq=thatcher&client_md=e91aea4e30a2cbfa9056ede306b6296d&mode=current_text

[13]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:ID2020000H628&ciq=thatcher&client_md=5141a923f0ec482e9d889801507e5a05&mode=current_text; http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:ID2020000S1427&ciq=thatcher&client_md=d40344a04d75be5774a424839ac7040c&mode=current_text

[14]http://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:IA2019000S2408&ciq=thatcher&client_md=bb05ac023a4a7e641bb8a75b932a1f7a&mode=current_text

Categories: COVID-19, Education