This afternoon, March 13, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order to ensure school districts will continue to retain state funding during school closures due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Executive Order N-26-20 states that a school district, county office of education, and charter school that closes its schools to address the spread of the virus, will continue to receive state funding to support the following activities:

    • Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities as feasible through, among other options, distance learning and/or independent studies.
    • Provide school meals in non-congregated settings through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    • Arrange for, to the extent practicable, supervision for students during ordinary school hours.
    • Continue to pay its employees.

According to the order, if an LEA closes due to COVID-19, the LEA is not prohibited from offering distance learning or independent study to impacted students. To the extent any state or local law might have been interpreted to the contrary, that is now waived.

For an LEA that initiates a school closure to address COVID-19, the closure shall qualify as a condition that prevents the maintenance of the LEA’s schools during a fiscal year for at least 175 days pursuant to Education Code Section 41422. The Administration has requested the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Health and Human Services agency develop and issue guidance by March 17, 2020, covering how to support parents in the event of school closure.

We recognize the tremendous efforts each school professional and leader is making during these uncertain times, with the focus on keeping our students, employees, and communities safe. CASBO will continue to provide information as it becomes readily available.

State and Federal Guidance

The California Department of Education (CDE) is and working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other state agencies to coordinate communication efforts on COVID-19. The department has developed a webpage with resources and information on the Coronavirus. For information, click here.

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency to provide state aid and formalize emergency services across multiple state agencies and departments to combat the spread of the COVID-19. For a copy of the proclamation, click here.

On March 7, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in consultation with the California Department of Education, released school guidance and will update as needed and as additional information becomes available. To download the joint guidance, click here.

On March 10, 2020, the CDE received a special waiver called CA COVID 19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that has previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure. The CDE will administer the waiver and approve waiver requests from school districts for meals that can be claimed for reimbursement. The waiver is valid until June 30, 2020. For information, click here.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order to enhance the state’s and local governments’ ability to respond to COVID-19, as follows:

    • Waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19;
    • Delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings;
    • Directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria;
    • Readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals;
    • Allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically; and
    • Allows local and state emergency administrators to act quickly to protect public health

On March 12, 2020, the United States Department of Education issued new resources to assist school districts in protecting student privacy, ensuring students with disabilities continue to receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the event of school closures, and providing flexibility measures on accountability standards required by law under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For information, click here.

On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 to provide federal aid to states and local governments to mitigate the further spread of the virus. The federal administration has established new partnerships with private industries to expand testing capabilities.

On March 13, 2020, the Education Coalition released a united message to Governor Newsom and legislative leaders to urge state funding relief and administrative waivers to address the fiscal and programmatic impact this crisis will have on K-12 public schools. To download the letter, click here.

Additional Resources