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New Rule Directs Aid To Independent Schools, Legal Protections, Hybrid Schooling

By Net Assets posted 13 days ago


(From NPR) On June 25, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a new rule that will require public schools to share more coronavirus relief funds with private schools than federal law currently mandates. The new rule gives school districts two choices about how to spend their aid money: They can distribute funds from the CARES Act to both public and private schools, depending on what percentage of a district’s students they enroll. Alternatively, they can share the one-off relief funding exclusively with low-income private school students, as many educators have requested — with the caveat that they can only use it to support low-income public schools as well. It also discourages wealthier schools from accepting support from the local districts, noting that funding should not go to “boarding and day schools with tuition and fees comparable to those charged by the most highly selective postsecondary institutions.”

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(From The Washington Post) Some universities are pushing Congress for temporary legal protections to give institutions more protection if someone gets the coronavirus while on campus property. Whether schools are liable if someone catches the coronavirus has become a key question as institutions seek to reopen around the country. Advocates say the protections will help resume teaching and research, to the maximum extent state and local governments permit. Lawmakers expect that some version of liability protection could pass through both chambers before the end of the summer.

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(From The New York Times) Schools across the country are beginning to announce hybrid schedules that include a mix of online and in-school learning — a strategy that many expect to become the norm in states that have experienced heavy coronavirus caseloads and have chosen to take a slower approach to reopening the economy. The hybrid model is aimed to help schools maintain sanitation and social distancing by restricting in-person attendance. However, schools acknowledge that online learning will need to improve rapidly for the coming year and additional provisions may be needed for students with special needs and those living in poverty.

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