New Brief Calls on the USED for School Closure Guidelines During COVID-19

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

BOSTON – While the states and localities, not the federal government, primarily control, fund, and have the power to drive policymaking in K-12 education, in a new policy brief, Pioneer Institute calls on the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to quickly establish comprehensive but concise guidelines for federal law around school closures.

Because of the COVID-19 virus, schools have been closing rapidly around the nation, and they are trying to transition to alternative, largely online, learning programs. But schools nationwide have delayed or even foregone alternative learning programs, citing concerns about federal law — particularly as it relates to providing equitable educational opportunities for students with disabilities.

Pioneer Institute believes that the state education department has ample leeway to address these concerns. That said, clarity from the federal education department would reduce confusion among key stakeholders – teachers, district administrators and state policymakers – so that Massachusetts students can once again get back to learning.

Co-authors David S. Clancy and Michael Sentance write, in “Keeping Students Academically Engaged During the Coronavirus Crisis – Part One,” that multiple federal laws are relevant to school closures, and USED’s COVID-19 related communication has been a flow of issue-specific guidance, requiring state personnel to work through a complex and evolving set of federal statements. Even granting the primacy of state and local governments in providing education to young people, fragmented guidance from the federal government is unhelpful and unnecessary.  State education personnel should have a single go-to resource on how federal law impacts their efforts.  Pioneer calls on the federal government to quickly release a single report identifying which federal laws – and which aspects of those laws – are relevant to the topic of school closure and providing concrete guidance on how schools can comply in the coming weeks.

Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Read Our Related Content:

The Republic of Gadgets - America’s Great Inventors - 25 Resources for K-12 Education

Understanding the enduring public and private benefit that great inventors and their contraptions have made to our civilization is to better appreciate the connections between human necessity, creativity, and ingenuity. Yet, in American K-12 education very little focus is placed on studying who America’s great inventors were and the central role they’ve played in shaping our republic of gadgets. We’re offering a variety of links on the topic for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to enjoy and better realize authentic innovators.

Cheryl Brown Henderson, Daughter of Lead Plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Ed., on Race & Schooling

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Cheryl Brown Henderson, president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research. She shares her experience as the daughter of the lead plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and thoughts on how the historic decision contributed to advancing civil rights in our country.

The Houses of Great American Writers - 25 Resources for K-12 Education

According to the Brookings Institution research, teaching great fiction is declining across America’s K-12 education system, so we’re offering resources to help parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to better appreciate great American writers and the places where they wrote.

Getting Nursing Home Care Right

Pioneer Institute has long recognized that seniors deserve the best of care and that innovative policy solutions are necessary to ensure that this population enjoys a high quality of life in their later years. In the 1990s, early 2000s and most recently in 2017, the Institute dedicated Better Government Competition topics to policy issues related to aging in America. Our goal each time was to find solutions and to take advantage of new innovations that would improve the quality of life and care for the elderly.

Harvard PEPG’s Prof. Paul Peterson on Charter Schools, Digital Learning, & Ed Next Polling

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Paul Peterson, the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.

Small Business Life Support: Policy Relief for Firms Sickened by COVID?

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Andrew Mikula and Retailers Association of Massachusetts' Jon Hurst about the state of small business in Massachusetts six months into the pandemic.

A Commonwealth of Art - 20 Resources for K-12 Art Education

In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs here, here, here, and here on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Introducing K-12 schoolchildren to great works of art about, from, or in Massachusetts. Great Massachusetts paintings, folk, and fine arts are often not fully explored in the Bay State’s K-12 education system, so we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, and schoolchildren.

Award-Winning Writer Brenda Wineapple on the 170th Anniv. of The Scarlet Letter & Pres. Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Brenda Wineapple, author of the award-winning Hawthorne: A Life and The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. They discuss her definitive biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Study: Economic Recovery from COVID Will Require Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Reforms

As the initial economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, a new study from Pioneer Institute finds that governments must continue to provide short-term relief to stabilize small businesses as they simultaneously consider longer-term reforms to hasten and bolster recovery – all while facing a need to shore up public sector revenues.

International Best-Seller Dr. Jung Chang On Wild Swans, Mao’s Tyranny, & Modern China

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Jung Chang, author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China; Mao: The Unknown Story; and Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China.