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:

Yale’s Pulitzer-Winning Prof. David Blight on Frederick Douglass, Slavery, & Emancipation

This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara Candal and guest co-host Derrell Bradford talk with David Blight, Sterling Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.

UVA Prof. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. on Core Knowledge, Equity, & Educating Citizens

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, and acclaimed author of the books, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation.

“Key of the Gulf” – Exploring Cuba – 35 Resources for Parents & Students

Castro’s despotism, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Embargo, remains the Cuban people – vibrant, creative, pious, and poor, who have continued to inspire and awe with their smiles, culture, music, dance, food, tobacco, resilience, and hopes. With the desire of passing along some of this magic to American families, students, teachers, and schools, we’re providing a variety of resources to educate our people about their neighbors, who live a mere 100 miles from our shores, in Cuba.

Human Rights Advocate Kristina Arriaga on Cuba, Religious Liberty, & Cancel Culture

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Kristina Arriaga, president of Intrinsic, a strategic communications firm, and former vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Kristina shares her family’s experiences fleeing Castro’s communist regime in Cuba and other hardships, and how her background has shaped her commitment to religious liberty.

Pandemic Pension Payout: Essential COVID-19 Public Workers Rewarded Whether Essential or Working

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Director of Research and former Massachusetts Inspector General and State Representative Greg Sullivan about HB 2808, COVID-19 Essential Employee Retirement Credit Bonus, discussing the merits of the recently proposed joint bill, its cost, and our current public debt burden in the Commonwealth.

MBTA Ridership Trends Compared to Public Transportation Agencies Nationwide

/
The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on our economy,…

Public Statement on Implementation of the Charitable Giving Deduction

Despite being awash in cash, the state Legislature just overrode Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of a provision to delay by yet another year a tax deduction for charitable donations. Rep. Mark Cusack, House chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue, said “it doesn’t mean no, just not now.” If not now, when?

The Globe’s Ornaments – Celebrating the Great Cities of the Ages – 35 Resources for Parents & Students

Celebrating the Great Cities of the Ages - This is part of Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, teachers, and students during COVID-19.

Jeeves & Wooster’s World The Comic Genius of P.G. Wodehouse – 30 Resources for Parents & Students

Life and writing can and should be playful, witty, light, fun, and make us smile. This is particularly important during the hard realities and sometimes loneliness of COVID, lockdowns, masks, and the increasingly stilted use of language today. To provide some much-needed comic relief and to help people of all age groups glory in the English language, take ourselves less seriously, and laugh more – please enjoy the world of P.G. Wodehouse!

Public Statement on the MA Legislature’s Blanket Pension Giveaway

Beacon Hill just put on full display what happens when it is awash in money. House Bill 2808 is entitled, “An Act relative to providing a COVID-19 retirement credit to essential public workers.”  It calls for adding three years of additional retirement credit to state “employees who have volunteered to work or have been required to work at their respective worksites or any other worksite outside of their personal residences during the COVID-19 state of emergency…” But upon reading the brief bill, it quickly becomes clear that this legislation is irresponsible in the extreme.