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COVID Current Events as of June 22, 2020

News and updates to inform school system leaders on managing through uncertainty

Each week, we have been collecting news articles, publications and other items of interest related to COVID and schools to inform ERS' own work to support school districts to manage through the uncertainty. We wanted to make this collection available to district leaders, school leaders, state education leaders and other partners working towards reimagining what school could look like during and after COVID-19. These items are pulled from many sources, but we want to especially acknowledge EdWeek, ASBO's School Business Daily and Vestigo Partners, whose great COVID resources we highly recommend.


Constraints from Social Distancing:

  • Study finds children are half as likely as adults to contract coronavirus

Student Need:

  • Just 1/3 of districts required online learning this Spring
    • Rural and small town districts were much less likely to deliver instruction than urban and suburban districts
    • Fewer than half of districts communicated an expectation for taking attendance
  • Only 20% of districts offered rigorous remote instructional opportunities (based on analysis of 250 district websites)
    • Only 12% of high poverty districts offered rigorous opportunities

Revenue/Cost Projections:

  • CBPP released revised estimates of state budget shortfalls; the June report predicts slightly lower shortfalls than the May report
    • 2020: $120B | 2021: $315B | 2022: $180B
  • The NEA released state-by-state estimates of anticipated education revenue loss along with estimated recovery if the HEROES Act were to pass
  • EdWeek Survey of district leaders about school finance (administered 5/6-5/7):
    • 56% of leaders expect their spending in 20-21 SY will decrease
    • 79% if respondents say staffing and personnel are most at risk financially from an economic downturn

Implications for System:

  • 94% of superintendents said they were not ready to announce reopening plans AASA COVID Survey (administered 5/6-6/8)
  • Virginia:  Released a 171 page Recover, Restart, Redesign plan.  The plan lays out four phases for reopening:
    • Phase 1:  Special education programs and childcare for essential workers. 
    • Phase 2:  Adds PreK-3rd grade, ELL, and summer camps in school buildings
    • Phase 3:  In person classes for students with physical distancing protocols. 
    • Beyond Phase 3:  New Normal based on future guidance. 
  • The large countywide and suburban district consortium assembled principles and priorities for what school districts need from SEAs
  • In California, district leaders oppose the inclusion of a ban on layoffs in the governor’s proposed state budget plan
  • The TN DOE released 27 back-to-school toolkits with detailed checklists for re-entry planning

Operations

Implications for Schools:

Reopening plans:

  • Some districts are putting forward reopening plans that allow for families to choose between in-person and remote learning:
    • Fort Worth ISD will allow families to choose between in-person and virtual schooling options when they return in the Fall
    • Pasco County is giving families 3 options: (1) return to campuses for in-person instruction, (2) enroll in all virtual classes in which students set their own pace, (3) attend all live classes online
  • Loudoun County, VA announces a preliminary reopening plan that calls for 2 days in-person, 3 days remote; it has been met with significant backlash from families

Surveys:

  • Parents and teachers are wary about returning to school:
    • In a Parent Reopening Survey conducted by Hillsborough County School District, 21% of parents said that they would prefer their children continue virtual learning even when campuses reopen in the Fall
    • In an Arizona teacher survey, 18% of teachers said they were uncertain about whether they’d return to school
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