Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today announced details of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model. While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.
In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.
According to an
in the Hartford Courant, "
Connecticut school districts, who have just 11 weeks to prepare to return to the classroom, are already anticipating millions of dollars in expenses in order to implement new safety protocols. Districts are anticipating needing to hire more teachers to keep class sizes small, more custodians and more bus runs to minimize the numbers of students on each bus."
Approximately $99 million in federal CARES Act funding will be distributed to local school districts to help mitigate the costs of reopening, according to Commissioner Cardona. In addition, the state is also applying for grants under the Rethink K-12 Education Models program, which assists families in accessing technology and educational services.
The state has indicated that FEMA funding may be available to local and regional school districts to pay for personal protective equipment and modifications to classrooms and school buildings to accommodate social distancing and safe practices.
COST will be following up with the Governor's Office to address funding questions.