Coronavirus has shaken nearly every aspect of the education sector. Widespread closures prevent schools from providing student meals, standardized tests, and teacher benefits the same way they were two weeks ago. As Congress moves quickly to approve coronavirus relief plans, state legislatures across the country are also considering bills to deal with the financial, health, and educational impact of the pandemic.
Even as some states have postponed their legislative sessions, at least 64 bills and resolutions in 17 states plus Washington D.C. have been introduced to provide support for the education sector in light of the virus. Unsurprisingly, states with the most cases of coronavirus, New York, Washington, California, and New Jersey, are the states with the most bills in play. While some states, like Massachusetts, continue to legislate, other states, like Washington, made sure to deliver bills to its governor before their session adjourned.
Of the 64 bills and resolutions, seventeen address education sector employee pay or benefits, nine waive laws or fees for things like number of school days, teacher evaluations, or student promotion criteria, seven address school-provided meals, seven provide support for institutions of higher education and their student, and six address school infrastructure or building sanitation.
Other bills address the need to amend truancy reporting procedures in light of distance learning, provide support for districts applying for standardized testing waivers, seek clear instruction on school closures or how to stop the spread of the disease, allow absentee voting for certain school board elections, or address the need for students to have internet to complete their online learning. Two bills allocate funding to support schools more generally and six other bills address multiple measures.
Check back as we update our coronavirus education legislation tracker. And please contact Brooke LePage at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions for bills to add.
Last updated: 9:30 am on 4/3/2020.