Second Coronavirus Package Will Be Signed by Trump

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Second Coronavirus Package Will Be Signed by Trump

Today, the Senate passed House legislation known as the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” which contains provisions that will make it easier for students to access food and school employees to get paid sick leave. Unlike the first package which was directed at healthcare related costs, this second package of funding is aimed at providing relief to states and districts related to COVID-19. We are really paying attention to the next and third package as that will be the one that contains billions of dollars for schools to pay for costs associated with closures and containment of the virus. Thus far, Democrats have proposed roughly $600 million in funding for K12, but that number could increase. There will also be some major amendments to current federal programs as well. There are, however, several provisions in this second package that we want to flag for superintendents.

  • One provision waives a requirement that prevents USDA from granting waivers to states from the Child Nutrition Act if those waivers would increase costs to the federal government.
  • Another provision allows school districts to serve meals in a variety of settings through a new national waiver authority granted to USDA
  • Related, another provision would allow States to qualify students for SNAP benefits if their schools close for at least five days as long as these students qualified for FRPL already.

There are also two provisions that relate to school employees:

  • Public school employees would be entitled to an initial 10 days of unpaid sick leave if they are impacted by the coronavirus. This would be followed by paid leave equal to at least two-thirds of their normal pay. There are caps on the paid leave of $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate

In addition, if a public school employee is caring for a child at home because their school or childcare provider is closed or because they are under quarantine then they are entitled to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave or, in the case of part-time workers they would receive paid leave equal to the average number of hours they work over a two-week period. There are also caps on these benefits of up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for full-time employees and $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for part-time employees. 

AASA Affiliates Send Letter to Congress

(WELL-BEING, SCHOOL HEALTH) Permanent link

AASA Affiliates Send Letter to Congress

Today, all forty-nine of AASA’s state affiliates sent a letter to Capitol Hill calling on Congress to ensure the U.S. Department of Education is granted the authority to issue ESSA waivers to states related to assessment and accountability in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more than three-quarters of states issuing statewide school closures—closures that are increasingly likely to last the remainder of the school year—it is clear there will be an impact on our ability to comply with assessment and accountability requirements. It is imperative the U.S. Dept. of Education is able to address this emergent need by issuing a blanket, statewide, narrow-in-scope waiver to expedite the process by which states can pursue and receive the necessary relief related to uncertainty over how assessments and accountability will play out and how/if flexibility will be granted.