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Tracking State Coronavirus Legislation

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 184 bills and resolutions in 24 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, like New York and New Jersey, are the states with the most bills in play. 

Of the 184 bills and resolutions, 42 have been signed into law. These new laws waive education requirements such as the number of days required, protect teacher benefits, and aim to support students experiencing food insecurity or who are in need of broadband.

The first wave of bills and resolutions added to our tracker focuses on supporting K-12 students, teachers, and schools. They waived or amended laws or fees for the required number of school days, teacher evaluations, student promotion criteria, standardized testing, or truancy reporting. Other bills and resolutions provided protections for teacher pay and benefits, allocated funding to sanitize schools, and supported students in need of meals or broadband access.

More recently, the bills and resolutions added to our tracker focus on support for higher education students and institutions. They aim to relieve student loan payments, urge institutions to refund students for unused housing and meal plans, and allocate extra funding for the hard-hit sector.

Check back as we update our coronavirus education legislation tracker. And please contact Brooke LePage at brooke.lepage@georgetown.edu if you have suggestions for bills to add.

Last updated: 9:00 am on 7/6/2020.