District Administration June 2020 - 9

SCHOOL FINANCE

Top superintendent concern: Funding
Districts don't have the necessary funds
to implement policies that would keep
students safe in school buildings. That's
a top concern coming out of a newly
formed COVID-19 advisory panel established by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
"The panel determined that everyone
would have to practice social distancing
when schools reopen, which suggests
that schools would need to adopt a staggered schedule where a select number of
students would be in the physical building at a certain time while the rest continued online learning," says Daniel A.
Domenech, executive director of AASA.
The panel noted that schools must
conform to guidelines from the CDC,
White House and, in many instances,
governors depending on state laws.
When schools reopen, staff and
faculty may need to take temperatures
of students before they can come into
school, mandate the use of face masks
and protective equipment, and clean

each building at the end of every day.
"These are all major expenses, but where
is this money going to come from?" says
Domenech.
The answer could be from a $200
billion fund, which the AASA and 11
other national education organizations
requested that Congress provide in a
recent letter to legislators. States are cutting the education budget, and CARES
Act funds are "just a drop in a bucket
that's hardly going to get anything
done," says Domenech.
Additionally, many students still don't
have web-enabled devices or internet
access, and with remote learning likely
to continue for an indefinite amount of
time, schools need these extra funds to
ensure online learning is accessible.
"Keeping students safe is going to
require money that schools don't have,"
says Domenech. "Luckily, we have sharp
minds who are brainstorming these
solutions in this new task force."
-Steven Blackburn

TECH EQUITY

What to do as hot spot discounts end
Many mobile hot spot discount programs that districts suggested for families
are reaching their limit, and school leaders are concerned about monthly rates
families will have to pay to maintain
student internet access during school
closures. Prior to the pandemic, there
were discount programs that companies
dedicated to continue providing at $10
per month, says Christine Fox, who
spoke on the topic of broadband leadership at FETC® 2020.
While plans are varied, some programs just require families to fill out an
application that proves their children
are on a free or reduced lunch plan. Yet,
hardware for many of these programs are
now on backorder.
"Every district should look at how
many families need support, what their
DistrictAdministration.com

local providers are and what levels of
internet access they have," says Fox, who
is deputy executive director at State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), a not-for-profit group for
state education agency leaders. "There
isn't a one-size-fits-all."
She suggests looking at how CARES
Act funding or E-rate funds can support on-campus access for when schools
reopen. Also, SETDA maintains a list
of national programs for digital access
(DAmag.me/setdalist). The association
recommends, too, that district leaders support a recently introduced bill
(DAmag.me/connectionsbill) to provide
E-rate program support for Wi-Fi hot
spots, modems, routers and connected
devices during emergency periods relating to COVID-19. -Steven Blackburn

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June 2020 | 9


http://www.DAmag.me/setdalist http://www.PRHEducation.com http://www.DAmag.me/connectionsbill http://www.PRHEducation.com http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

District Administration June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2020

District Administration June 2020 - Cover1
District Administration June 2020 - Cover2
District Administration June 2020 - 1
District Administration June 2020 - 2
District Administration June 2020 - 3
District Administration June 2020 - 4
District Administration June 2020 - 5
District Administration June 2020 - 6
District Administration June 2020 - 7
District Administration June 2020 - 8
District Administration June 2020 - 9
District Administration June 2020 - 10
District Administration June 2020 - 11
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District Administration June 2020 - Cover3
District Administration June 2020 - Cover4
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