Education

Coronavirus’s painful side effect is deep budget cuts for state and local government services

<span class="caption">Washington state cut both merit raises and instituted furloughs as it faced a projected $8.8 billion budget deficit because of the coronavirus.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/washington-state-olympia-state-capitol-building-with-spring-news-photo/452908636?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images">Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images</a></span>
Washington state cut both merit raises and instituted furloughs as it faced a projected $8.8 billion budget deficit because of the coronavirus. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nationwide, state and local government leaders are warning of major budget cuts as a result of the pandemic. One state – New York – even referred to the magnitude of its cuts as having “no precedent in modern times.”

Declining revenue combined with unexpected expenditures and requirements to balance budgets means state and local governments need to cut spending and possibly raise taxes or dip into reserve funds to cover the hundreds of billions of dollars lost by state and local government over the next two to three years because of the pandemic.

Without more federal aid or access to other sources of money (like reserve funds or borrowing), government officials have made it clear: Budget cuts will be happening in the coming

Read More

‘Big Mess’ Looms if Schools Don’t Get Billions to Reopen Safely

An empty classroom at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., where the district plans to spend $200,000 on desk partitions, July 7, 2020. (Audra Melton/The New York Times)
An empty classroom at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., where the district plans to spend $200,000 on desk partitions, July 7, 2020. (Audra Melton/The New York Times)

Bus monitors to screen students for symptoms in Marietta, Georgia: $640,000. Protective gear and classroom cleaning equipment for a small district in rural Michigan: $100,000. Disinfecting school buildings and hiring extra nurses and educators in San Diego: $90 million.

As the White House, the nation’s pediatricians and many worn-down, economically strapped parents push for school doors to swing open this fall, local education officials say they are being crushed by the costs of getting students and teachers back in classrooms safely.

President Donald Trump threatened this week to cut off federal funding to districts that do not reopen, though he controls only a sliver of money for schools. But administrators say they are already struggling to cover the head-spinning logistical and financial

Read More

Universities Can Help Foreign Students by Partially Reopening

Many of my fellow international classmates at Harvard are very worried about their immigration status in light of the Department of Homeland Security’s new rule that requires international students with F-1 visas attending schools with all online classes (such as Harvard) to leave the U.S. or transfer to a school with some in-person instruction.

Leaving the U.S. can be disruptive for the lives of many international students and their research activities, much of which cannot be done online, especially in the physical sciences.

In response, Harvard and MIT have decided to sue the Trump administration and have requested injunctive relief from federal courts. Since it is commonly understood that the power to grant and revoke visas resides in the executive, these well-intentioned legal efforts made by universities to protect their students will likely be futile.

I believe the president’s policy efforts to encourage schools to reopen are also well-intentioned,

Read More

Howard school system contemplates what fall reopening could look like

The clock is ticking for school districts across the country to decide what school will look like in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Howard County is no exception.

In Maryland, school systems have until Aug. 14 to submit their plans to the Maryland State Department of Education. The Howard County Public School System, which has been considering several options this summer, is planning to send its plans to the state soon after presenting them to the Howard County Board of Education on Thursday.

The plans include three options for the 2020-21 school year, specifically the fall semester.

The first option, which Superintendent Michael Martirano said is the least likely, is all students returning to the classroom as normal. The second is an all-online model that would include more instruction and video time with teachers, while the third plan is a hybrid model with some in-person classes and some

Read More

FL Governor Says He Would Not Hesitate To Send His Kids To School

JACKSONVILLE, FL — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would not hesitate to send his three small children to school if they were old enough.

“At the end of the day, we need our society to function,” the governor told reporters at a stop in Jacksonville Thursday with U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “We need our society to continue to move forward. We can take steps to be able to minimize risk when you’re talking about coronavirus, but we can’t just leave society on the mat.”

Scalia said the protracted school closures around the nation have disproportionately hurt working women and low-income families.

“It’s hard enough to telecommute while the kids are in school, but (for) many parents, that’s not even an option,” Scalia said. “Those are lower income parents that we know have been hit harder by the virus, and we think it’s particularly important to help get

Read More

Search continues for ‘Glee’ star’s body; education lawsuits pile up

Actress Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing during a boat trip in Ventura County. The state and the University of California file separate lawsuits against the Trump administration. And a tired California mother envisioned a faster, healthier way to feed her daughter. Think Keurig, for babies. 

It’s Arlene with all the news to know this Thursday.

But first, Downtown Disney reopened Thursday morning to throngs of visitors clamoring for some of that M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E feeling. What coronavirus?

In California brings you top stories and commentary from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Sign up here for weekday delivery right to your inbox. 

‘Glee’ star presumed dead following what was to be a short boat trip 

A Ventura County Sheriff's helicopter aids in the search on Thursday, July 9, 2020, for "Glee" actress Naya Rivera, who was missing after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son at Lake Piru on Wednesday.
A Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter aids in the search on Thursday, July 9, 2020, for “Glee” actress Naya Rivera, who was missing after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son at
Read More

‘Kids are really good at it’

One day after President Trump criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s school reopening guidelines — calling them “impractical” and “expensive” — the organization’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, denied claims from the White House that the guidance would be rewritten.

“It’s not a revision of the guidelines; it’s just to provide additional information to help the schools use the guidance we put forward,” Redfield said on Good Morning America. He emphasized that the CDC’s guide for reopening K-12 schools — outlined in a 10-page document — is not meant to be a mandate, but rather a list of suggestions to help empower school districts.

The document divides schools into risk level based on how much the coronavirus is spreading and then offers recommendations from there. Among the key points are methods already being explored, such as spacing desks 6 feet apart, lowering class sizes, having regular health checks to

Read More

Fauci says ‘divisiveness’ hurts response; Big Ten schools to only play league games; CDC won’t rewrite school rules

Florida saw an alarming increase in deaths and top federal health officials ran counter to President Donald Trump’s wishes, saying guidelines for reopening schools won’t be rewritten and some states should consider shutting down again as coronavirus cases spike nationwide Thursday.

The Big Ten announced it will limit its fall sports to only conference games, impacting several significant scheduled football games. The ACC pushed the start of its season back to Sept. 1.

Florida reported 120 deaths – almost 50% more than the previous one-day high of 83 in late April – as the state surpassed 4,000 deaths. Nationwide, the Johns Hopkins data dashboard reported a one-day total of 820 U.S. deaths and a near-record 58,601 new cases.

“Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “The

Read More

Some CT Parents Criticize Back-To-School Plan

CONNECTICUT — For 90 minutes live on YouTube and Facebook, education and public health officials, with Gov. Ned Lamont joining, answered the public’s questions during a moderated webinar about the state’s fall schools reopening plan. Officials answered questions regarding mask use, parent notification of positive cases in schools, and more.

More than 15,000 listened in and participated in the live Q & A and, working off a list of more than 300 submitted questions and live chat comments and questions, officials offered their responses.
The idea to hold the webinar was to explain the rationale behind the state’s back-to-school plan.

The top line answer, which covered myriad questions, was that the plan is “fluid.”

Education commissioner Miguel Cardona said, “We’re listening. We hear you,” noting that the “wellness and safety” of students and school staff is the priority. “There’s no more important topic right now than how to safely open

Read More

Universities scramble to protect students from deportation under new ICE policy requiring in-person classes

The Trump administration has thrown colleges and universities across the country into confusion this week with the unexpected announcement that international students will have to leave the U.S. if their school does not offer in-person classes during the upcoming semester. 

In a press release Monday afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that, under a forthcoming temporary rule, foreign students currently attending a school that plans to operate entirely online during the fall semester will either have to transfer to a different school offering in-person classes, leave the country voluntarily or face possible deportation.

In addition, ICE said the State Department “will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”

Under normal circumstances, the U.S. does not grant student visas to people enrolled in online-only

Read More