Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Schools: Q & A

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Chair of Assembly Education Committee provides answers to frequently Asked questions during COVID-19 pandemic

As a parent, teacher and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I would like to share with you frequently asked questions and answers regarding California schools during this crisis:

Q: What has the Legislature and Governor done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: The Legislature and Governor enacted emergency legislation to ensure schools continue to receive funding during closures and provided $100 million for school districts to purchase protective gear and cleaning supplies to sanitize school sites before students return.

Q: When will schools reopen?

A: Unknown. Each school district is working closely with their county health departments to determine the safest time for schools to reopen. Long Beach Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District will remain closed at least through May 3. Schools may reopen on Monday, May 4, but an additional extension of the closure beyond that date is possible.

Q: Do students still have to take standardized tests?

A: The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that it will waive required statewide assessments upon request. The Governor has committed to seeking those waivers.

Q: Will teachers and other school staff be paid when schools are closed?

A: On March 13, 2020, the Governor issued an Executive Order that will fund schools during COVID-19 closures. Schools will continue to receive full funding to pay their employees.

Q: What options exist for distance learning?

A: The California Department of Education has issued recent guidance about distance learning, available here. Districts have their own distance learning initiatives in place.

Q: Is there guidance about students with special needs?

A: Yes.

For state guidelines.

For federal guidelines.

Q: How can students get school meals during this time?

A: Federal law and the Governor's Executive Order provide flexibility for school meals to be provided when schools are closed. Families and students should contact their school districts for additional information to locate sites. Additional guidance from the California Department of Education is available here.

Q: What are schools doing during closures?

A: Schools are providing distance learning and are working with parents and teachers on ways to accommodate students who do not have internet access.