BUFFALO, NY (AP) – Coronavirus’s latest federal package includes $ 81 billion, which began flowing into the states this week to help schools reopen quickly. ,
Many parents want to keep their children at home. Teachers have pushed back the reopening plans. Some districts say state guidelines on social distance prevent all students from being brought back at once.
The money is a welcome help for those who have had to spend huge sums on ventilation systems, laptops and security equipment. As the school year draws to a close, however, many are looking forward to how best to spend the new money next fall.
For some districts that still have a large number of students to return to class, no money can help in the short term.
Hillsborough School District, one of Oregon’s largest communities, plans to limit individual tuition for some students this month, but may not be able to repatriate all students full-time because of social distance and bus transportation guidelines, said Beth Grazer. the speaker of the district.
“There are just people who hire us to drive the buses we drive, especially the fact that we had to go through the procurement process to provide extra buses if we were to add our fleet to a point where it would be possible to actually overcome transport restrictions.” wrote Grazer e.
The amount released this week is $ 122 billion, which is included in the $ 1.9 trillion virus aid bill for K-12 schools. Schools have a strategy on how to use the money over the next two years to eliminate the damage of the epidemic on the pace of education and the mental well-being of students.
As of last month, nearly half of all elementary schools in the United States were open for full-time teaching, according to a survey by President Joe Biden’s administration, which promised that most K-8 schools would be open all the time in its first 100 days. Office While the administration was promoting the aid package as a way to reopen schools, some district officials said they would not use the new funding for months.
In the school district of Yastown, Ohio, where about 40 percent of students return to school part-time, CEO Just Astin Ennings does not expect the latest federal money to change those numbers until the end of the school year.
This is partly because students have already been offered a return to personalized education, և partly because the district does not even expect to receive the final funding, at least in the summer, said Enn Ennings. It could then move to more protective equipment, upgrade school air purification systems, broadband access, and invest in transportation to allow for better social distance.
Of the 77 major metropolitan councils, about 60 are at least partially open, said CEO Michael Casserley, with most of the rest already scheduled to reopen by mid-April. The new funding will help return to personalized training, he said.
“There is a lot of money to be spent on reopening the buildings to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said. “These will be one-time expenses for school districts, which do not necessarily create some long-term capacity, but they will help open the door.”
In Hartford, Connecticut, Inspector Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said she hoped the aid would help bring more students to the district by expanding efforts to connect with missing or separated families of students. The district made about 4,400 home visits this school year, but often lacked the resources to address the root causes of the problems.
“Additional social workers, mental health և health support would be very much needed, more urgently needed,” he said.
Against the backdrop of slippage of academic achievement, the Connecticut Capital School District is encouraging all students to return to personalized learning on March 29, including some 9,600 students who have opted for virtual learning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that students could safely sit 3 feet instead of 6 feet outside classrooms as long as they wore masks. But some district officials say this will not allow them to increase the number of days students study in person until state governments adopt the same guidelines.
“If leadership is permissible, we are excited to be able to do so,” said Bu Effrey Rabe, a Depewu Public School superintendent in the Buffalo suburbs where the schools operate on a hybrid model.
One of the biggest obstacles for parents remains the spread of the virus in schools, says Andre Perry, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He said neighborhoods need to show parents that they are safe, especially in traditionally poor schools, where bathrooms often did not have soap or washbasins before the epidemic.
In Fairfax, Virginia, where schools last week completed the transition from a full-distance to a personalized distance learning mix, surveys show that many families in the state’s largest county may not want more time in classrooms.
The percentage of Months visitors who say they prefer personalized online learning has dropped in recent months. This is down 47% this month from 56% in October, according to the county, which says parents need to feel prepared and safe by sending their children back. ,
“We are still working on factors that may help bring more students back in the coming weeks,” the district spokesman said in an email.
At Columbus, Ohio’s largest school district, most students are back in the classroom on a hybrid schedule. Officials say the social distance requirements that place capacity on school buses are one obstacle, and it makes no sense to buy hundreds of other buses.
Another hurdle, according to Stanley Bahorek, the district treasurer, is the uncertainty about what lies ahead and how schools can adapt.
“We are in a situation where we have no choice but to respond to the ever-changing environment,” Bahorek said. “And that’s the perspective that I hope people outside think when they say, ‘Well, why don’t they just send their kids back to school?’
The report was co-authored by Associated Press writers Michael Melian in Hartford, Connecticut; Cantele Franco at Columbus, Ohio; և Sarah Clean in Salem, Oregon. Clean is a member of The Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service that places journalists in the local media to cover impeccable issues.