From: Education Week’s EdWeek Update

April 12, 2020

Where Are They? Students Go Missing in Shift to Remote Classes

As school shutdowns extend nationwide, educators are finding that some of their students have simply disappeared and efforts to reach their families are coming up short.


Trump Says He Could Overrule a Governor to Keep Schools Closed, But Prefers Not to

Asked whether he would order Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to keep schools closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trump said he wanted to respect constitutional considerations but added he had the “right” to overrule governors.

April 15, 2020


Betsy DeVos Releases First Coronavirus Emergency Aid for K-12 Schools

The $3 billion earmarked for governors is the first CARES Act aid for K-12 education U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has released.


Education Companies Scrambling to Apply for Feds’ Emergency Relief

Many companies in the education market are likely to pursue loans through the recent, massive stimulus. But securing that funding is no sure thing.

April 16, 2020


For Schools, This Recession Will Be Worse Than the Last. Here’s Why

Fiscal analysts now predict states will see a $500 billion shortfall in revenue next year. Cuts to the K-12 system will likely dwarf the spending cuts schools saw during the Great Recession.


April 17, 2020

Closed Schools Would Stay Shut in First Phase of Trump Reopening Guidelines

The new guidelines rely heavily on testing for the coronavirus; in their first phase, schools that are now closed would not reopen, but could resume operations in subsequent phases.

Can Vaping Put Teenagers at Greater Risk of Getting Seriously Ill With Coronavirus?

Even before the coronavirus arrived, schools were concerned about the negative health effects of e-cigarettes on students. Here’s one more reason to worry. Read more.


Draconian Cuts to Schools Could Come As Soon As This Summer

Coronavirus’ financial wallop on schools will come sooner than predicted as unemployment hits record levels. Already, pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs may be in the offing in some districts before the start of the new school year.



From: ASCD’s Smartbrief

April 14, 2020


Coronavirus disrupts SAT, ACT for students

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted plans for students to take the SAT and ACT, with an estimated 1 million high-school juniors expected to miss taking the SAT this spring. The College Board is providing take-home options for Advanced Placement exams this academic year and says a similar approach may be needed for the SAT if school closures continue into the fall.

Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/13)


Free service touted by ISPs comes with strings

During prolonged school closures and a shift to remote learning, some internet service providers are offering free internet to low-income families. However, some families report the offerings come with strings attached, such as fees for installation, and some say they are being denied service because they have an outstanding balance.

Full Story: Chalkbeat/Indiana (4/13)


April 15, 2020


How coronavirus, isolation could affect children

Researchers have studied the effects of children being separated from their parents, but there is little precedent for the social isolation taking place today in which students are prevented from in-person contact with friends and teachers. Some research indicates that students who attend day care are better able to communicate, and other experts caution that the coronavirus could affect parents, which, in turn, could take a toll on children.

Full Story: The Hechinger Report (4/15)


Will college admissions change forever?

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional academic year and disrupted the college admissions processes, typical requirements and expectations. Experts say it’s too early to know whether some of the changes, including a move toward test-optional admissions, will remain after the end of the pandemic.

Full Story: Education Dive (4/9)

Court halts effort to roll back school meal standards

The District Court of Maryland on Monday blocked an effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to roll back nutrition standards for school meals. At issue, the court found, is that the USDA did not seek public comment as required under the federal Administrative Procedure Act when it took steps to ease standards for whole grains and sodium in school meals.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model) (4/14),  The Hill (4/14)

Data: More undergraduate credentials awarded

Data shows 3.7 million students earned undergraduate credentials in the 2018-19 school year, up from 3.4 million in the 2012-13 academic year, according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report comes as some colleges are expecting a decline in enrollment of students age 24 and younger, because of various factors, and some are looking to recruit adult students, those age 25 and older.

Full Story: Education Dive (4/13)


April 16, 2020


College Board announces plans for at-home SAT

The College Board announced Wednesday a plan for at-home SAT exams — similar to its plan for Advanced Placement exams — if school closures continue into the fall. If by fall schools reopen, then the College Board will hold makeup exam dates for canceled spring tests and, if safe, will resume monthly SAT test dates in August through the end of the year.

Full Story: CNN (4/16)



Report: Some schools are not protecting student data

Thousands of US schools are not complying with the intent of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to protect students’ data, according to a report by the nonprofit World Privacy Forum. At issue is that some directory information available online includes students’ full names, height, weight and other identifying information.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model) (4/14)



April 17, 2020


Education Dept.: Stimulus funding not for unions

The US Department of Education is cautioning that governors should not give stimulus funding to teachers’ unions, saying that would be “inconsistent” with guidance on how the funds should be spent. If the funding does go to teachers’ unions, states would need “to separately identify and account for” how it was used.

Full Story: Chalkbeat (4/16)



Access to food remains a concern amid school closures

About 90% of school nutrition professionals are worried students will miss meals during prolonged school closures, a School Nutrition Association survey finds. Those fears are justified, according to a Hunger Free America survey, which shows more than one-third of families have skipped meals for students because of a lack of food.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model) (4/15)




Does screen time affect social skills?

The amount of time children spend on screens has little effect on their social skills, according to a study led by a researcher at The Ohio State University. The study also found little impact of screen time on children’s ability to regulate their tempers.

Full Story: Psych Central (4/14)


From: Special Education Smartbrief

April 13, 2020


Advocates oppose waiving IDEA standards during pandemic

More than 70 disability advocacy groups signed a letter opposing waivers to portions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to recommend to Congress whether any IDEA standards will be relaxed during the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed schools.

Full Story: Disability Scoop (4/13)


From: The Council of Administrators of Special Education’s Weekly Update

April 15, 2020


Education funding streams in CARES Act provide wealth of spending options

District Administration Magazine
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, H.R.748, which was signed by President Trump into law on March 27, includes new funding opportunities for state educational agencies and local educational agencies dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the measure includes nearly $16.2 billion in new funding for two emergency education relief funds to be administered by the U.S. Education Department.


From: The Council for Exceptional Children’s Policy Insider

April 14, 2020


Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Support Emergency Broadband Funding

Legislators from both the House and Senate sent a letter urging congressional leaders to provide support for rural broadband relief so that small Internet carriers can sustain services and upgrades in low-income areas.


Congressional Leaders, Limited by Social Distancing, Clash on Next COVID-19 Response Bill

Lawmakers remain at an impasse on another interim relief package or a more comprehensive package, which is rumored to be in the works.


From: Whiteboard Advisors WeeklyNotes

April 16, 2020


FTC Releases Guidance For EdTech Companies on Student Privacy: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released guidance to remind edtech companies about the continued need to protect student privacy and to pay attention to the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) during COVID-19. COPPA outlines for companies, including some edtech services, what they must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online. The FTC noted that in both school and home environments, schools can consent on behalf of parents to the collection of student personal information, but only if the information is used for a school-authorized educational purpose and for no other commercial purpose. In addition, FTC’s guidance highlighted the model terms of service, drafted by the U.S. Department of Education, that is designed to help school districts negotiate agreements with vendors. [Federal Trade Commission; Education Week; U.S. Department of Education]
Governors Can Now Apply for $3 Billion in Aid: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced governors can now officially apply for aid intended to help public schools address the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act included $3 billion in aid for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Secretary DeVos stated and stressed that the application process to obtain funds has been streamlined. She also highlighted that with these grants, individual governors will decide how much of the money goes to K-12 education or higher education. [Education Week]


Educators in Many States Report Low E-Learning Attendance: A national teacher survey has found that a third of respondents reported zero to 25 percent online class attendance following school closures due to COVID-19. Fifty-five percent of educators said that they’re teaching classes that are less than half full. The states with the highest reported attendance include New Jersey and Texas, with more than half of students present, and Michigan has seen the lowest attendance rates with 62 percent of respondents reporting that less than a quarter of their students attend remote classes. Many states have recognized digital access disparities and have switched classes to pass/fail, or incompletes that can be made up in the fall. [Education Dive]

Teachers Could Retire in Droves by the Time Schools Reopen: After Hurricane Katrina in 2007, the Orleans Parish School Board laid off all teachers for four months, resulting in only half of teachers returning, 10 percent less than researchers expected. Following Hurricane Katrina New Orleans’ black teacher workforce dropped by 20 percent, further widening the achievement gap, as black students who have one black teacher by third grade are 13 percent more likely to enroll in college. Many are worried the rate of teachers returning after school closures from COVID-19, will show a similar trend, especially as 30 percent of current teachers are age, 50 and older, a population disproportionately impacted by coronavirus. [The Hechinger Report]