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COVID 19-Update: CARES Act, Sick Leave Act Guidance, Legal Aspects, Admissions Surveys

By Net Assets posted 03-30-2020 09:36 AM


(from NBOA) On Friday, March, 27, 2020, a $2 trillion relief package to support the U.S. economy during the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), will impact large swaths of the U.S., and most of the provisions will take effect immediately. While we don’t yet have all the details, business officers may be interested in the following items, which are listed from the most achievable/firmly understood to most uncertain/subject to interpretation at this time.

  • Limitations on charitable contributions have been temporarily loosened.
  • Restrictions on loans and hardship withdrawals from retirement plans have been temporarily loosened, and schools can adopt these changes immediately without making changes to their plan documents.
  • Employers that pay employees’ student loans will be able to provide some of these funds tax free to employees.
  • Health insurers must pay all costs for testing for COVID-19 and for enrollees to receive any vaccination which is developed for the virus.
  • For those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, unemployment payments may be increased by $600/week and they may be eligible for up to 13 more weeks of payments.
  • The Small Business Association (SBA) will receive $349 billion for loans that are forgivable under certain circumstances when used to pay payroll, mortgages and rent, and utility payments. Independent schools may be eligible for these loans.
  • Employers whose operations have been disrupted due to shut downs are eligible for a refundable payroll tax credit on up to $10,000 in wages paid during the crisis. Independent schools may be eligible for these credits.
  • The employer share of social security payroll tax for 2020 can be deferred and paid in full by December 31, 2022. 

The Trump administration has said it aims to launch the small business loans by Friday, April 3. 

Find further information about the legislation from Marketwatch; VenableLiebert, Cassidy, Whitmorethe Society for Human Resource Management; CUPA-HR (higher ed HR); and Nonprofit Quarterly.

Additional resources that may prepare schools to take action include: Loan Toolkit: Payroll Protection, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (blumshapiro), CARES Act: How to Apply for Nonprofit Relief Funds (Independent Sector), Small Business Interruption Loans 7(a) Checklist (Armanino) and Understanding CARES Act Provisions for Retirement Accounts (PlanPILOT).

(from the U.S. Department of Labor) The DOL released additional guidance on the recently passed coronavirus related sick leave act. For additional information, see 

NBOA provided this update shortly following passage of the Act: COVID-19 Update: Sick Leave Relief Act Passed

(from Venable LLP) Independent schools continue to have a number of questions about how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including

  • Notifying the School Community of Positive COVID-19 Cases
  • State Requirements for Instructional Time
  • Updated ADA Guidance for Employers Regarding Employee COVID-19 Inquiries
  • One-on-One Videoconferencing between Teachers and Students
  • Managing a Remote Workforce 
  • Tuition Refunds

More from Venable

(from Inside Higher Ed) For elite colleges, admissions processes may look unchanged, but for most other institutions, the admissions season will likely look different. CarnegieDartlet released a survey of 4,848 high school seniors and found that two-thirds say that a May 1 deadline to reply to an offer of admission was unreasonable. More than half of students said they hoped to make campus visits this spring, either for the first time or visiting their top-choice colleges again. But with COVID-19, students didn’t indicate a significant change in the likelihood that they would choose a college they had never visited. Forty-six percent of respondents said they were “somewhat likely to,” “highly likely to” or “absolutely would” choose a college they had never physically visited.

More from Inside Higher Ed

(From Jen Cort Consulting) Diversity and equity advocates from independent schools have developed resources on providing supportive positive and inclusive campus climates during the COVID-19 crisis. Topics covered include

  • How DE&I work can help schools navigate communications with families (Rethinking Diversity)
  • Why social distancing may "help laying the playing field for individuals from disadvantaged or underrepresented groups in various ways, and generally lead to greater inclusion" in the workforce (Forbes)
  • Guidance from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on how schools can support students and maintain attitudes of inclusivity (Teaching Tolerance)
More at Jen Cort Consulting


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