With COVID-19 Cases Rising, Questions About Schools Reopening in 2020 Come into Focus

July 10, 2020

Whether and how schools will return to in-person education this fall will determine how soon parents can return to work, but the decision lies with thousands of state and local officials.

About 41% of U.S. workers between 20 and 54 have at least one child at home.  Single parents are more likely to rely on child care and education options in order to work. 

Reopening by the numbers: 

  • Forty-one states have closed school buildings for the 2019-2020 academic year, with seven states recommending closure for the remainder of the year, and two leaving the decision to schools/school districts.

  • Twenty-one states are allowing childcare facilities to operate, with 29 states allowing child care with restrictions and/or modifications.

  • Forty-seven states have developed plans to re-open schools in the fall. 

Uncertainty ahead:  With coronavirus case numbers rising, plans to reopen educational facilities could very easily change. 

It won’t be cheap:  A recent analysis by the Association of School Business Officials and the School Superintendents Association found that the total additional expenses an average school district may incur to reopen is $1,778,139.

The CDC will be issuing new documents next week on how to open schools, according to Vice President Mike Pence.  This will be in addition to the CDC's current guidance on school reopenings, which the President has criticized for being too restrictive. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in-person education is a priority for the next relief bill, but has not yet submitted specifics on how this would be accomplished.  Vice President Pence suggested a relief package that creates financial incentives for states and/or school districts that open school facilities.  

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