The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 are affecting students, teachers and families across the nation. ExcelinEd is committed to serving education leaders and policymakers with timely and useful information so they can support students in the best ways possible.
COVID-19 Policy Briefs & Webinars
CARES Act & GEER Funding
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the U.S. Department of Education made available almost $3 billion for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER). Governors across the nation must be strategic with their use of GEER funds to support education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governors can help students, families and educators in their state respond to and recover from continued effects of COVID-19. To do so, governors should consider four ideas for targeted funding that can help their states respond to and prepare for the continued impacts of COVID-19.
- Don’t Just Bridge the Digital Divide – Fill It
- Invest in High-Quality Education to Workforce Pathways
- Safeguard Private School Education Options
- Attack the Soon-to-be Widening Achievement Gap
Reopening Schools Survey & Recommendations
To support state policymakers and education leaders, ExcelinEd has developed Reopening Schools After COVID-19 Closures: Considerations for States, which was created with input and feedback from national, state and local leaders.
This resource outlines a variety of approaches and considerations for reopening based on the following questions:
- When and how should schools reopen? (After it is safe from a health perspective to do so)
- What could options for school schedules, student placement and educator staffing “look like” when we reopen?
- How should we provide supports to students, particularly those who are most in need, when schools reopen?
The document outlines a variety of options addressing each of these questions without promoting one option over another. Rather, ExcelinEd’s intent is to share ideas with state leaders and policymakers—all of whom are grappling with some version of these questions.
Early Literacy Loss: Strategies for States
Just a few months ago, states were facing the challenge of teaching all students to read by the end of third grade. Now, they must also consider the impact of COVID-19 on fourth-grade reading readiness. Transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn in third grade is a significant milestone, and this unprecedented nationwide disruption to student learning will likely have long-term implications.
Special Education and Distance Learning
On April 27, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos clarified that although COVID-19 school building closures create significant challenges for the special education community, she would not recommend any waivers affecting the core tenants of IDEA, which guarantees a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities.
As the nation’s seven million students with disabilities, their families and schools transition to distance learning, parents are deeply concerned about the educational progress of their children, and advocates are troubled by the lack of equity among students receiving special education services.
ExcelinEd spoke to students with disabilities, parents, teachers, disability-rights advocates and national organizations to inform this resource guide, which offers solutions and best practices to education policy leaders to meet the challenges the special education community faces during the pandemic.
Please submit any education innovations or resources to Info@ExcelinEd.org for consideration.
The following resources feature tools, platforms, information and tips from experts and partners we hope will help you care for your students, family and community during these uncertain times.
Federal Stimulus Guidance
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State Education Actions Database – ARCHIVE
The State Education Actions map and database provided state-by-state updates on actions education systems took in response to COVID-19. The information is no longer being updated but is provided for historical reference.
Recent COVID-19 News and Blogs
- South Carolina Governor McMaster Expands Educational Opportunities
- State Spotlight: Governor Stitt’s GEER Funding Plan Expands Opportunities for All Oklahoma Students
- #AskExcelinEd: How can states use CARES Act funding for education?
- State Spotlight: Arizona Students, Educators Receive Strong Support from Governor Ducey’s CARES Act Plan
- State Spotlight: Virginia’s CARES Plan Invests in Students’ Academic and Emotional Needs
- State Spotlight: Florida’s CARES Plan Wisely Invests to Support Educators, Students
- Special Education and Distance Learning: Parent-Recommended Policy Ideas for State and District Leaders
- #AskExcelinEd: How can states use microgrants to rethink K-12 education?
- #FactFriday: State education leaders support local district decision-making on school reopening
- #AskExcelinEd: What Are the Implications of COVID-19 on Turnaround Schools?