Coronavirus Update: What Should SBOs Know?

By ASBO International posted 03-13-2020 08:43


(Updated 8/3/2020.)
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 8/3/20)

  • 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 August 3, there are 18,093,891 cases globally (across 188 countries/regions). The U.S. is ranked #1 for having the most confirmed cases, with 4,667,957 cases (154,860 deaths) 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.
  • 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)

For recent information on how COVID-19 affects children and implications for safely reopening schools, ASBO International, National PTA, and other leading national education groups cohosted a virtual townhall on July 16, featuring experts from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and CEO of EdTrust, John King, Jr. (Access the event recording, presentation slides, and a summary of the discussion.) (Added 7/22/20)


What federal guidance is available for schools regarding COVID-19? (Updated 8/3/20)
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is compiling cross-agency resources and information for elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions and personnel at: Please send questions to ED via email at:

What is Congress doing in response to COVID-19? (Updated 8/3/20) 
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.

Final text/summaries of the CARES Act
Final bill text for Division A (everything but appropriations) and Division B (the appropriations section of the bill)
Section-by-Section description of Division A
One-pager on Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee provisions - from Majority Committee staff

Two summaries of the appropriations section (Division B) – from Senate Appropriations Committee Majority and Minority staffs

Lawmakers successfully passed a "phase 3.5 / 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 / 5" COVID-19 package, referred to as "CARES 2." Unfortunately there has been major partisan gridlock about what the stimulus bill should include. House Democrats released a $3 trillion partisan proposal on May 12, the "Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act," which 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). A revised version of the HEROES Act passed the House on May 15, but is considered dead on arrival in the Senate. 

Discussions for another COVID-19 stimulus package are delaying lawmakers' work on federal appropriations for the 2021 federal fiscal year (FY21). Originally, officials planned to have spending bills marked up by the end of June, but now we may not see markups occur until mid/late July. 

  • June 10, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on "COVID-19: Going Back to School Safely." (View a recording here.)
  • June 15, the House Education & Labor Committee held a hearing on "Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education." (View a recording here.)
  • June 22, the House committee scheduled another hearing, "Inequities Exposed: How COVID-19 Widened Racial Inequities in Education, Health, and the Workforce." (View a recording here.)
  • June 23, the House committee held a virtual briefing, "Reopening and Rebuilding America's Schools." (View a recording here.)
  • June 30, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing, "COVID-19: Update on Progress Toward Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School." (View a recording here.)
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released a Democratic Senate proposal for a "phase 4 / 5" COVID stimulus package on June 30, "The Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA)." The bill would provide $430 billion to support education across-the-board, including child care, K-12 education, higher education, and workforce development. $345 billion of that amount would go to the CARES Act's Education Stabilization Fund, and K-12 education would receive $175 billion for state agencies and school districts. While Senate Republicans do not support this bill, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has indicated general support for more funding to help schools safely reopen in light of COVID-19. On July 27, Senate Republicans released bill text for their counter proposal to HEROES and CCERA, the Health, Economic, Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act. The $1 trillion package provides $70 billion to K-12 education with some conditioned funding for schools based on their reopening plans, $29 billion for higher education, $5 billion for governors to use to support education, and $1 billion for Bureau of Indian Education. The proposal provides COVID-19 liability protection for schools as they reopen, an opportunity for LEAs to pursue MOE waivers, and significant funding for private schools in response to the pandemic. Please read this ASBOUSA legislative blog for a full analysis of the proposal

Congress must now negotiate a compromise that reconciles the many policy disagreements among the HEROES, CCCERA, and HEALS Acts for the next COVID relief package, however little progress was made before lawmakers left town for the August recess. 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 8/3/20) 
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.
  • 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.) 
    • Use ASBO International's Legislative Resources to help you advocate for your district. (Updated 7/17/20) 
      • There, you'll find ASBO 's 2020-2021 Legislative Beliefs, COVID-19 policy recommendations to support school recovery efforts, and our COVID-19 cost-analysis for reopening schools.
      • Access ASBO/AASA's 2020 Virtual Legislative Advocacy Conference resources, including talking points, session recordings, and presentation materials to learn about policy issues impacting your district. 


Additional COVID-19 news and resources are available below: (Updated 7/17/20)
*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 Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) COVID-19 Considerations: Guidance for School Reentry (Added 7/7/20)
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)
Brooking Institute: Reopening Schools Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Your Questions, Our Answers (Added 6/5/20)
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)
District Administration: Here Are Key Questions to Answer to Safely Reopen Schools (Added 6/5/20)
Education Counsel: What School Districts Need: Principles and Priorities for State COVID-19 Guidance and Action (Added 6/17/20)
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 COVID-19 Will Ballon District Costs This Coming Schools Year (Added 5/26/20)
Education Week: How Will Coronavirus Affect School Spending? 9 Questions Answered (Added 4/15/20)
Education Week: School Districts' Reopening Plans: A Snapshot (Added 7/17/20)
Education Week: Too Expensive to Re-Open Schools? Some Superintendents Say It Is (Added 5/26/20)
Education Week Map: Coronavirus and School Closures (Added 4/21/20)
Education Week Series on Coronavirus and Schools
Educating All Learners Alliance: Resource Library for Educating Students with Complex Learning Needs Remotely (Added 4/15/20)
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)
FRAC Summary of USDA's Nationwide Child Nutrition Waivers in Response to COVID-19 (Added 6/11/20)
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)
Healthline: What to Know About PMIS, the COVID-19-Linked Syndrome Affecting Children (Added 5/26/20)
Healthy Building Network COVID-19 Resources: Informed Choice for Better Health
(Added 5/26/20)
Healthy Green Schools & Colleges: How to Safely Disinfect for Coronavirus (Added 5/26/20)
Healthy Schools Campaign: COVID-19 Resources for Cleaning Staff (Added 5/26/20)

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 Center for Health Security Report: Filling in the Blanks, National Research Needs to Guide Decisions About Reopening Schools in the United States (Added 5/26/20)
John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy: CARES Act Analysis H.R. 748 (Added 4/8/20)
Learning Policy Institute (LPI): Making School Budgets Whole and Equitable During and After COVID-19 (Added 7/17/20)
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 Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO): Budget Blog: April Tax Collections Plummet from Tax Deadline Shifts and Fallout of COVID-19 (Added 5/26/20)
National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO): State Budget Basics During an Economic Downturn (Added 5/26/20)
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 Council on School Facilities: COVID-19 Guidance, Working Sessions on Reopening K12 Schools (Updated 6/10/20)

National Education Association (NEA) 
National PTA COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources (Added 3/31/20)
National School Boards Association: COVID-19 Preparing for Widespread Illness In Your School Community: Legal Guide for School Leaders (Added 6/5/20)
National School Boards Association: Fostering Safer Schools: A Legal Guide for School Board Members on School Safety (Added 6/5/20)

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
NPR: A Looming Financial Meltdown for America's Schools (Added 5/26/20)
Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network: Rapid Response Resources for COVID-19 (Added 3/31/20)
School-Based Health Alliance COVID-19 Resources (Added 5/27/20)
School-Based Health Alliance COVID-19 Telehealth Resources (Added 5/27/20) 

School Leader Voices: Concerns and Challenges to Providing Meaningful IDEA-related Services During COVID-19 (Added 7/17/20)
School Nutrition Association (SNA)
School Transportation News: CDC Recommends One Student Per School Bus Seat, Skipping Rows (Added 5/26/20)
STARTS: Student Transportation Aligned for Return to Schools: Guidelines, Tactics, and Templates (Added 7/17/20) 
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)
University of Washington, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences: Safer Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Strategies to Reduce and Prevent COVID-19 Transmission (Added 5/26/20))
Washington Post: Here Is Exactly What the CDC Wants Schools and Camps to Do Before Reopening (Added 6/5/20)
Working with FEMA to Address COVID-19 Housing and Homeless Needs (NLIHC Toolkit) (Added 4/24/20)

School District and State Education & Health Agency Resources on COVID-19 (Updated 7/17/20)
California Department of Education: Letter from State Director of Special Education on Educating Students with Disabilities (Added 4/1/20)
Considerations for Reopening Pennsylvania Schools (Added 7/17/20)
Cypress Fairbanks ISD Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates 

Fulton County Schools COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
NYC Health Department Fact Sheet: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrom in Children (MIS-C) as associated with COVID-19 (Added 5/26/20)

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 8/3/20)

ASBO International Network Discussions & Blogs: (Updated 8/3/20)

ASBO International Toolkits: (Updated 8/3/20)

ASBO International Webinars (Updated 8/3/20)

ASBO International File Library Resources (Updated 6/10/20)

(Have another useful resource on COVID-19 to share that’s not listed? Contact us.)