As school business officials (SBOs) are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact in their state and district, ASBO International is here to support our members with tools, information, and resources to stay informed and appropriately respond to COVID-19 to protect their students, staff, and communities.
What do you need to know about COVID-19? (Updated 5/19/20)
- COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Risk of infection is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, or those who live in or who have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Estimated incubation period is 2 to 14 days.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the disease to be a pandemic. As of May 19, 2020, there are 4,829,232 cases globally (across 188 countries/regions). The U.S. is ranked #1 for having the most confirmed cases, with 1,508,957 cases across all states and territories.
- For a closer look at U.S. cases, view this map. For a short timeline on how the virus has spread globally, read this blog.
- Education Week reports as of May 15, 48 states, 4 U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C. have ordered or recommended school closures for the rest of the academic year, impacting ~50.8 million public school students.
- Currently there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Health experts estimate the soonest a vaccine will be publicly available is in 12 to 18 months, or by mid-late 2021. See this vaccine tracker for the latest updates.
- There are basic steps people can take to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or us an alcohol-based sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue into the trash.
- Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
(Sources: WHO COVID-19 website, CDC factsheet, Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Map, and CDC website on COVID-19 in the U.S.)
For tools and resources to help you communicate COVID-19-related issues to your community, please refer to NSPRA's guide, "The Coronavirus Communications Crisis for Public Schools." (Added 3/17/20)
For international/global guidance and information for schools in light of COVID-19, please read the WHO, UNICEF, IFRC report, "Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools." (Added 4/30/20)
For public health recommendations regarding phased reopening across the U.S, please read the Johns Hopkins University's report, "Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors." (Added 4/30/20)
What federal guidance is available for schools regarding COVID-19? (Updated 5/21/20)
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is compiling cross-agency resources and information for elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions and personnel at: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus. Please send questions to ED via email at: COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key guidance SBOs will want to review with other school leaders and staff include:
- HHS Guidance
- CDC guidance
- Office of Head Start
- ED guidance
- USDA guidance
- Dept. of Treasury guidance
- DOL guidance:
- DHS guidance
- FBI guidance:
- FCC guidance:
- EPA guidance:
- FTC guidance:
- DOJ guidance:
What is Congress doing in response to COVID-19? (Updated 5/19/20)
In early March, Congress passed an $8.3 billion emergency bill to support research into a COVID-19 vaccine, treatments, stockpiling medical supplies, and providing low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by the virus. H.R. 6074, the "Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act" reflects "phase-one" of the federal government's response (a summary of the bill is available here).
After the President declared COVID-19 a national emergency, Congress swiftly prepared a "phase two" emergency response bill to COVID-19, which passed on March 18. H.R. 6201, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" is a $100 billion spending package that includes emergency funding for paid sick leave, widespread free COVID-19 testing, provisions to provide flexibilities and meal assistance for schools during school closures, and temporary increases in federal Medicaid funding to states.
Congress passed a "phase three" bill on March 27 to provide additional support for economic recovery from COVID-19. The package includes nearly $31 billion in emergency education funding. The full text and summaries of H.R. 748, the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act" are below.
Lawmakers successfully passed a "phase 3.5 or 4" COVID-19 package on April 24, H.R. 266, the "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" (The PPP & HCE Act), which provides $484 billion in additional funding for businesses, hospitals, and expanded COVID-19 testing. Meanwhile, ED has started releasing emergency funding to assist states and schools with COVID-19 response via the Education Stabilization Fund authorized by the recently-passed CARES Act. Funding is being disbursed via The Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) Fund.
Congress is slowly returning to "business as usual" on Capitol Hill, as officials work on the next "phase 4 or 5" COVID-19 package, referred to as "CARES 2." Unfortunately there has been major partisan gridlock about what the stimulus bill should include. Republican leadership wants to see how current relief measures work out and what future needs might be before drafting another bill, whereas House Democrats released a $3 trillion partisan proposal on May 12. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act would provide assistance to state and local governments, hazard pay for health care workers, student debt forgiveness, more Medicare and Medicaid funding, and other provisions. (Read this ASBOUSA blog for more information on what's in the proposal). The House passed a revised version of the HEROES Act on May 15 along partisan lines, so it is not expected to be taken up by the Senate. The Senate will likely propose it's own bill to negotiate with the House later on, which isn't expected until sometime after Congress' Memorial recess (perhaps in June).
While Congress figures out the next stimulus package, lawmakers are starting on appropriations work for the 2021 federal fiscal year (FY21). CEF reports that FY21 allocations have been given to all appropriations subcommittee chairs for their FY21 funding bills, but these amounts have not been made public. CEF expects that allocations for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (L-HHS-ED) appropriations bill will only be marginally above the FY20 level, however any emergency funding Congress passes would not be subject to federal spending caps. So, while FY21 appropriations may likely be flat for education programs, there is still the possibility of additional federal aid coming in the form of emergency funding. Appropriators are planning to have spending bills drafted and marked up by the end of June.
We encourage members to join ASBO International’s Legislative Affairs Community for further legislative updates as we learn more information and to be on the lookout for upcoming webinars to help you lead your community's response to COVID-19.
What is ASBO International doing in response to COVID-19? (Updated 5/19/20)
In addition to sharing information and resources to support our members during this difficult time, ASBO International is working with our Legislative Advisory Committee, education coalition partners, and federal officials to advocate for flexibilities and assistance for schools impacted by COVID-19. Here are just a few examples of how we have been advocating for ASBO members:
- Providing relevant news, information, and education for school business professionals via ASBO International webinars and other communications channels.
- ASBO International COVID-19 Webinars: (View our upcoming schedule.)
- ASBO International communications: Accents, School Business Daily, the Global School Business Network, and other channels.
- The Global School Business Network is an invaluable resource for school business professionals who seek peer support and want to ask questions and advice regarding school response to COVID-19 in their communities. Log into the Network now.
- Join/Renew to ensure you are receiving all ASBO International communications and membership benefits, including access to the Network.
- Working with ASBO International’s Legislative Advisory Committee to share information about school districts' responses to COVID-19 with members and the public, and advocating for federal support and guidance for schools throughout the crisis.
- Asking ED for guidance to states, districts, and schools about how to respond to COVID-19 to support students, staff, and communities during school closures.
- Advocating for E-Rate flexibilities and extra funding to ensure that students affected by school closures have adequate Internet access while learning from home, i.e. addressing digital equity concerns such as the "homework gap."
- Advocating for nationwide USDA waivers/flexibilities and extra funding to help school districts serve students healthy and nutritious meals during school closures.
- Advocating for targeted, narrow IDEA flexibilities to help districts provide for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Maintaining ongoing conversations with federal agencies and officials, including ED and White House staff to discuss additional federal supports needed for states and schools. (EX: ASBO International participated in a call with U.S. Vice President Pence and Education Secretary DeVos to discuss how best to support schools during the COVID-19 outbreak.)
- ASBO members can share feedback about the impact of COVID-19 on their schools to inform our advocacy efforts. (Contact us about how we can advocate for your schools.)
Additional COVID-19 news and resources are available below: (Updated 5/21/20)
*ASBO International Website: Going Green Resources (Added 3/25/20)
AASA, The School Superintendents Association COVID-19 Resources (Updated 4/8/20)
AASA, The School Superintendents Association Advocacy Round Up: All Things COVID Blog Series (Added 4/22/20)
AASA Blog: ED Issues Guidance That Will Redirect Districts CARES Funding to Private Schools and Students (Added 5/5/20)
ACG Advocacy: The CARES Act Relief Funds Toolkit (Added 4/24/20)
Albert Shanker Institute Report: The Coronavirus Pandemic and K-12 Education Funding (Added 4/24/20)
Amazing Educational Resources: Spreadsheet List of Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings (Added 3/16/20)
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Report: A Blueprint for Back to School (Added 5/4/20)
American Fidelity Administrative Services: COVID-19 Resources & FAQs (Updated 5/13/20)
American Fidelity Administrative Services: FFCRA Employer Calculations Workbook (Added 4/17/20)
American Fidelity Administrative Services: Summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and PDF (Added 4/9/20)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
American Federation of Teachers Plan for Reopening Schools (Added 5/19/20)
American Lung Association Stay Safe & Informed About COVID-19 Resources (Added 4/3/20)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Considerations Regarding COVID-19 for Schools and Students with Disabilities (Added 4/9/20)
ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Recommendations for Schools & Universities (Added 5/21/20)
ASHRAE Frequently Asked Questions for COVID-19: Filtration, Disinfection, HVAC System Operations, etc. (Added 5/21/20)
Bellwether Education Partners: COVID-19 Strategic Planning Toolkit for Education & Nonprofit Leaders (Added 4/10/20)
CBS News: CDC releases guidelines for reopening schools. What will the 'new normal' look like? (Added 5/15/20)
Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE): Database on District Responses to COVID-19 School Closures (Added 4/21/20)
Chiefs for Change: The Return: How Should Education Leaders Prepare for Reentry and Beyond (Added 5/15/20)
Common Sense: Wide Open School Online Learning Resources (Added 4/3/20)
District Administration: 208 Free K-12 Resources During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Updated 4/24/20)
District Administration: Education Funding Streams in CARES Act Provide Wealth of Spending Options (Added 4/1/20)
District Administration: Equitable Services Guidance on CARES Act Funds (Added 5/12/20)
District Administration: FFCRA Guidance for School Districts as Employers (Added 4/1/20)
Educating All Learners Alliance: Resource Library for Educating Students with Complex Learning Needs Remotely (Added 4/15/20)
Education Week: Coronavirus and Schools: A State-by-State Guide, school closures, reopening dates, remote learning, and more (Added 4/16/20)
Education Week: How Will Coronavirus Affect School Spending? 9 Questions Answered (Added 4/15/20)
Education Week Map: Coronavirus and School Closures (Added 4/21/20)
Education Week Series on Coronavirus and Schools
Edunomics Lab (Added 3/31/20)
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) COVID-19 Updates (Added 3/20/20)
FRAC One-Pager on Child and Adult Care Food Program: New USDA Waivers (Added 4/24/20)
Franczek Education Law Insights Podcasts on Coronavirus Issues for Schools (Added 4/24/20)
Future ED: What Congressional COVID Funding Means for K-12 Schools (Added 5/19/20)
GASB Emergency Toolbox Addressing Issues from the COVID-19 Pandemic (Added 4/21/20)
GASB Proposes to Postpone Effective Dates of Certain Pronouncements (Added 4/21/20)
Government Financial Officer's Association (GFOA) Fiscal First Aid Resource Center (Added 4/3/20)
Healthy Schools Network / Coalition for Healthier Schools COVID-19 Resources for Cleaning & Disinfecting Facilities (Added 4/7/20)
ILR Briefly: COVID-19 Liability, Litigation in the Time of COVID-19 (Added 5/4/20)
ISTE / EdSurge Resources for Schools to Cope with Coronavirus (Added 3/16/20)
JD Supra Coronavirus/COVID-19 News & Analysis (Added 4/2/20)
John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy: CARES Act Analysis H.R. 748 (Added 4/8/20)
Learning Policy Institute (LPI): Reopening Schools in the Context of COVID-19: Health and Safety Guidelines from Other Countries (Added 5/19/20)
Learning Policy Institute (LPI): What Will It Take to Stabilize Schools in the Time of COVID-19? (Added 5/19/20)
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Educator's Guide to Virtual Learning: Actions to Support Students with Disabilities (Added 3/25/20)
National Center for Systemic Improvement: COVID-19 Resource Hub for Supporting Students with Disabilities (Added 3/25/20)
National Education Association (NEA)
National PTA COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources (Added 3/31/20)
National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)
New America--Everything You Need to Know: Education in the Coronavirus Emergency Bill (Added 4/10/20)
No Kid Hungry Best Practices, Tools, & Resources for School Districts Feeding Students During COVID-19 (Added 4/8/20)
No Kid Hungry Emergency Grants to School Districts and Nonprofit Organizations (Added 3/20/20)
NPR Special Series on Coronavirus Crisis
Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network: Rapid Response Resources for COVID-19 (Added 3/31/20)
School Nutrition Association (SNA)
Tech for Learners: Online Learning Products, Resources, & Services to Facilitate and Expand Online Learning (Added 3/25/20)
Texas Association of School Boards Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources (Added 3/25/20)
The 74: The Coronavirus Closed Schools in a Flash. But Detailed Planning Must Guide Students’ Return to Classrooms (Added 5/19/20)
The National Law Review: Summary of CARES Act - SBA Loans, Tax Relief, Rebates, Employee Benefits, and Other Provisions (Added 3/31/20)
The National Law Review: FAQs on New Paid Leave Entitlements Under FFCRA for Public Sector Employers (Added 3/31/20)
The New York Times Coronavirus Resources for Teaching and Learning
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance (Added 5/12/20)
Working with FEMA to Address COVID-19 Housing and Homeless Needs (NLIHC Toolkit) (Added 4/24/20)
School District and State Education Agency Resources on COVID-19 (Updated 5/6/20)
California Department of Education: Letter from State Director of Special Education on Educating Students with Disabilities (Added 4/1/20)
Cypress Fairbanks ISD Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Fulton County Schools COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
Parkrose School District Resources
Illinois State Board of Education: Remote Learning Recommendations During COVID-19 Emergency (Added 4/24/20)
Texas Education Agency: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance
Virginia Department of Education: COVID-19 & Virginia Public Schools Guidance and Resources
Virginia Department of Education: Superintendent's & Principals' Memos (Added 3/31/20)
Washington State Health Department Resource: AOE Webinar Series Solutions for Healthy Buildings in the age of COVID-19 (Added 5/6/20)
Members-Only Resources (Login Required) (Updated 5/20/20)
ASBO International Network Discussions & Blogs: (Updated 5/20/20)
ASBO International Toolkits: (Added 3/31/20)
ASBO International Webinars (Updated 4/17/20)
ASBO International File Library Resources (Updated 5/4/20)
(Have another useful resource on COVID-19 to share that’s not listed? Contact us.)
- Working Together for Student Success: A Guide for SBOs & CTOs (See section on IT Infrastructure & Systems Management for tips/resources on cloud computing, interoperability, and maintaining continuity during a crisis. See section on Data Management & Security for tips to protect student data and privacy, develop policies via stakeholder engagement, and improve cybersecurity in schools)
- Inclusive Technology Toolkit - Local Procurement Practices (Provides tips about promoting inclusive procurement practices to accommodate all learners, including students with disabilities)
- Inclusive Technology Toolkit - Extra Resources (Provides resources on digital accessibility, digital learning, and procuring learning technologies to support all students)
- Back to School Toolkit for Safe and Healthy Schools (Provides information, checklists, and resources about green cleaning for schools.)
- School Safety & Crisis Planning Toolkit (Compiles crisis planning, management, and response tips and resources for a variety of emergencies.)