SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state funding order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and high-quality educational opportunities, provide school meals and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours.
“Closing schools has a massive, cascading effect for our kids and their families – especially those least equipped financially to deal with them,” Newsom said in a statement.
“The needs of California kids must be met regardless of whether their school is open or closed,” he said. “School districts that choose to close must use state educational dollars to quickly meet the needs of children and families. The State of California is working around the clock to help those districts and provide best practices to ensure no kid is left behind.”
“I applaud Governor Newsom for the action in his Executive Order to provide schools with the tools they need to continue providing students with high-quality education while keeping them safe,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
“This allows schools to put safety first without jeopardizing the financial resources needed to meet the needs of our students,” Thurmond said. “The California Department of Education looks forward to working closely with Governor Newsom and educators from across the state to provide guidance for addressing critical education issues such as providing students with meals and ensuring the delivery of needed services and supports to students with disabilities.”
The state funding order provides that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, school districts must:
* Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students through other options, distance learning and independent study;
* Safely provide school meals 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;
* To the extent practicable, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hours
* Continue to pay employees.
The full executive order can be viewed here.