USDE Issues Rule to Ensure CARES Act Funding Serves All Students (June 26, 2020)

On June 25, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a rule that would help to ensure all students whose learning was impacted by COVID-19 are served equitably by emergency funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, no matter where they attend school. The Interim Final Rule (IFR), which becomes effective immediately, outlines how local education agencies (LEAs) must calculate the emergency funds available for providing equitable services to students and teachers in private schools. According to USDE, the rule gives districts options for determining the amount of CARES Act funding for equitable services to private school students.

To view the press release, click here.

US Supreme Court DACA Decision Affects Education (June 22, 2020)

On Thursday, June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration cannot end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which that allows individuals who came to the U.S. as children to receive two-year temporary protection from deportation, subject to renewal, and to become eligible for a work permit. It is believed that a decision to repeal the program would have impacted thousands of educators, and many more students, along with some who are working on the frontlines as schools plan to re-open. 

The Migration Policy Institute reports that, as of 2016, approximately 228,000 children age 15 and younger were unauthorized immigrants potentially eligible for the DACA program provided they stayed in school. Also, each year about 100,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from high school. In 2014, 31% of the immediately eligible DACA population (about 365,000 students) was enrolled in secondary school. Further, education is one of the most common professions in which DACA recipients work. in 2019, approximately 9,000 DACA recipients were employed as teachers or in other education careers.

To read the entire Education Dive article, click here.

Supreme Court LGBTQ+ Decision will Impact Education (June 22, 2020)

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that federal law prohibits employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, a ruling that will have a direct impact on education. The majority opinion held that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and now avers that sexual orientation or gender identity are concepts so closely related to “sex”—meaning gender—that a prohibition of sex discrimination includes them.

This ruling will likely have other impacts on education down the road. LGBT issues beyond employment discrimination have been contentious in schools for years. While the decision today is limited to employment discrimination on the basis of sex, it opens the door to other areas, such as  participation in school sports and bathroom use.  

To read more, click here.

NPR: Four Ways that Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren (June 21, 2020)

A recent NPR article outlines four ways that racial inequity harms American schoolchildren.  They are:

Black students are more likely to be arrested at school. During the 2013-2014 school year, black students accounted for 16% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools, but 33% of arrests in those schools. Studies from the University of South Carolina also show that good, well-intentioned, and not overtly racist people tend to perceive black students to be more threatening.

Black students are more likely to be suspended. Between 2012 to 2016, black high school students were twice as likely to be suspended as white or Hispanic high school students. Students with disabilities were also twice as likely to be suspended as those without disabilities.

Implicit bias isn’t just a police problem, it happens in preschool, too. In 2016, the Yale Child Study Center that preschool teachers looked more for challenging behaviors at black children than white children, and they look specifically more at the African-American male.

White school districts receive more funding on average than nonwhite districts. According to a 2019 report from EdBuild predominantly white school districts receive $23 billion more funding compared with school districts that serve mostly students of color.

For more information from NPR by viewing the article, click here.

PCCD June 30th Deadline Rapidly Approaching for COVID-19 School Health and Safety Grants (June 19, 2020)

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is accepting applications for the COVID-19 School Health and Safety Grants to address a variety of health and safety needs for the 2020-21 academic year. The deadline to submit applications is June 30, 2020. 

Eligible uses for the grants include such things as modifying existing areas to support appropriate social distancing of students and staff; providing mental health services and supports; purchasing educational technology for distance learning; and other health and safety programs, items or services necessary to address the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

Click here for more information about the grants and the application process.

Click here to see a copy of the funding announcement with each school entity’s allocation included in Appendix A.