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Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers - The White House

Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers - The White House


Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers - The White House

Posted: 21 Jan 2021 01:40 PM PST

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, to ensure that students receive a high-quality education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to support the safe reopening and continued operation of schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education, it is hereby ordered as follows:  

Section 1.  Policy.  Every student in America deserves a high-quality education in a safe environment.  This promise, which was already out of reach for too many, has been further threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.  School and higher education administrators, educators, faculty, child care providers, custodians and other staff, and families have gone above and beyond to support children's and students' learning and meet their needs during this crisis.  Students and teachers alike have found new ways to teach and learn.  Many child care providers continue to provide care and learning opportunities to children in homes and centers across the country.  However, leadership and support from the Federal Government is needed.  Two principles should guide the Federal Government's response to the COVID-19 crisis with respect to schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and higher education institutions.  First, the health and safety of children, students, educators, families, and communities is paramount.  Second, every student in the United States should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, during and beyond the pandemic.

Accordingly, it is the policy of my Administration to provide support to help create the conditions for safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible; ensure high-quality instruction and the delivery of essential services often received by students and young children at school, institutions of higher education, child care providers, and Head Start programs; mitigate learning loss caused by the pandemic; and address educational disparities and inequities that the pandemic has created and exacerbated.  

Sec. 2.  Agency Roles and Responsibilities.  The following assignments of responsibility shall be exercised in furtherance of the policy described in section 1 of this order:  

(a)  The Secretary of Education shall, consistent with applicable law:  

(i)     provide, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, evidence-based guidance to assist States and elementary and secondary schools in deciding whether and how to reopen, and how to remain open, for in-person learning; and in safely conducting in-person learning, including by implementing mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing; 

(ii)    provide, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, evidence-based guidance to institutions of higher education on safely reopening for in-person learning, which shall take into account considerations such as the institution's setting, resources, and the population it serves;

(iii)   provide advice to State, local, Tribal, and territorial educational authorities, institutions of higher education, local education agencies, and elementary and secondary schools regarding distance and online learning, blended learning, and in-person learning; and the promotion of mental health, social-emotional well-being, and communication with parents and families;

(iv)    develop a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse to enable schools and institutions of higher education to share lessons learned and best practices for operating safely during the pandemic;

(v)     provide technical assistance to schools and institutions of higher education so that they can ensure high-quality learning during the pandemic;

(vi)    direct the Department of Education's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to deliver a report as soon as practicable on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on students in elementary, secondary, and higher education, including those attending historically black colleges and universities, Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions; 

(vii)   coordinate with the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences to facilitate, consistent with applicable law, the collection of data necessary to fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and educators, including data on the status of in-person learning.  These data shall be disaggregated by student demographics, including race, ethnicity, disability, English-language-learner status, and free or reduced lunch status or other appropriate indicators of family income; and

(viii)  consult with those who have been struggling for months with the enormous challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses for education, including students; educators; unions; families; State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials; and members of civil rights and disability rights organizations, in carrying out the directives in this order.

(b)  The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, consistent with applicable law:  

(i)    facilitate the collection of data needed to inform the safe reopening and continued operation of elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs, and ensure that such data are readily available to State, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders and the public, consistent with privacy interests, and that such data are disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and other factors as appropriate;

(ii)   ensure, in coordination with the Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID-19 Response Coordinator) and other relevant agencies, that COVID-19-related supplies the Secretary administers, including testing materials, are equitably allocated to elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs to support in-person care and learning; 

(iii)  to the maximum extent possible, support the development and operation of contact tracing programs at the State, local, Tribal, and territorial level, by providing guidance and technical support to ensure that contact tracing is available to facilitate the reopening and safe operation of elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education;

(iv)   provide guidance needed for child care providers and Head Start programs for safely reopening and operating, including procedures for mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing, as well as guidance related to meeting the needs of children, families, and staff who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including trauma-informed care, behavioral and mental health support, and family support, as appropriate; and

(v)    provide technical assistance to States, localities, Tribes, and territories to support the accelerated distribution of Federal COVID-19 relief funds to child care providers, and identify strategies to help child care providers safely remain open during the pandemic and beyond while the sector experiences widespread financial disruption due to increased costs and less revenue.

(c)  The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit a report to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the COVID-19 Response Coordinator identifying strategies to address the impact of COVID-19 on educational outcomes, especially along racial and socioeconomic lines, and shall share those strategies with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials.  In developing these strategies, the Secretaries shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, consult with such officials, as well as with education experts; educators; unions; civil rights advocates; Tribal education experts; public health experts; child development experts; early educators, including child care providers; Head Start staff; school technology practitioners; foundations; families; students; community advocates; and others.

(d)  The Federal Communications Commission is encouraged, consistent with applicable law, to increase connectivity options for students lacking reliable home broadband, so that they can continue to learn if their schools are operating remotely.

Sec. 3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:  

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE, 
January 21, 2021.

Iowa bills would require schools to offer 100% in-person learning. Here's how that would work. - desmoinesregister.com

Posted: 21 Jan 2021 02:10 PM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Iowa bills would require schools to offer 100% in-person learning. Here's how that would work.  desmoinesregister.com

Coronavirus spurs students to seek public health degrees - Florida Trend

Posted: 21 Jan 2021 05:00 AM PST

Coronavirus spurs students to seek public health degrees

A growing number of students across the nation, because of the pandemic, have developed a strong interest in public health and are channeling that into degrees. Public health programs that use the common application for admissions reported a 20 percent increase in applications to master's in public health programs for the 2020-21 academic year, according to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Interest in Florida-based programs has skyrocketed. [Source: AP]

Florida parents concerned about students' school performance letters

With some children learning at home during the pandemic, a lot of attention has been placed on the quality of that education. Some Florida parents are receiving letters from state education leaders saying their children are not doing well and should return to in-person learning. The letter does state that parents have the option to keep their child enrolled in e-learning. Leaders with the Florida Department of Education says the letter is routine. It makes parents aware of their student's performance and gives them an alternate option to improve their scores. More from WFLA and WBBH.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities recruit Florida students through virtual events and county partnerships

South Florida school districts want students to go "all in" and learn about opportunities at historically Black colleges and universities. Through a partnership with Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach school districts, HBCUs from around the country are holding "All In On HBCUs" virtual events for high school students. HBCUs were founded specifically to serve Black students at a time when predominantly white schools denied them enrollment under racist segregation policies. [Source: WLRN]

New College of Florida kicking off search for new president

New College of Florida has kicked off its search for a new president. The College's new leader will succeed President Donal O'Shea, who retires in June. The New College Board of Trustees has appointed a search committee led by Board Chair Mary Ruiz, a 1978 graduate of New College, to conduct the national search for the college's sixth president. [Source: WWSB]

Poll shows Florida Southern College has some of the nation's best business professors

Florida Southern College's Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise can now tout some of the best professors in the country, according to a new poll in a national publication. Poets&Quants for Undergrads, the leading online publication for undergraduate business education news, said FSC's business school faculty earned a 9.5 from the college's 2018 graduates. The number is higher than last year's leader, Boston College's Carroll School, which earned a 9.46. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Congressman urges probe of Pasco school data program
Denouncing the program as promoting "racial bias" and further feeding the "school-to-prison pipeline," a U.S. congressman Tuesday called for a federal investigation into the Pasco school district's practice of sharing student data with law enforcement.

› TCC President Jim Murdaugh remains optimistic about spring enrollment
As the spring semester gets underway, Tallahassee Community College is not realizing a marked decrease in enrollment, setting it apart from most of its peers in the Florida College System. As of Thursday, TCC had 10,125 students enrolled in the 2021 main spring semester and its Express Session, for a decrease of about 3.3%.

› Florida student wins national, inauguration-themed poetry contest
Inaugural poems aren't only for grownups. A high school senior from Jacksonville, Florida, named Hallie Knight has some well formed ideas about where the country is and how she'd like to see it change. The 17-year-old has won a contest organized by the Academy of American Poets.

› Seminole school board narrows superintendent search to two finalists, plans interviews next month
Two finalists will be interviewed for the superintendent's job, the Seminole County School Board decided late Tuesday, none from neighboring Orange County. The board plans to interview Serita Beaman, its attorney, and Chad Farnsworth, an assistant superintendent in the Lake County school district and a former superintendent of a small North Florida district. It is seeking a replacement for Superintendent Walt Griffin, who is retiring in the spring.

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