Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Republican Leader Burgess Owens (R-UT) sent a letter to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) requesting information on how states are helping school districts reopen schools, including the monitoring of COVID-19 aid expenditures.
In the letter, the Members write: “The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on families across the country. For nearly a year, children have been pushed out of their classrooms and forced to learn from behind a screen. While most businesses have fought to reopen since last March, many states and local communities have kept their public schools closed.” The Members continue: “The [CCSSO] is in a unique position to help schools reopen. The organization can bring together states for collaboration, as well as aid practitioners on the ground, identify common problems, and quickly relay pertinent information to policy makers.”
BACKGROUND: Since schools closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, more research has concluded that it is safe to reopen schools with the proper safety measures. The CDC estimated the cost of these safety measures to be about $25 billion, a fraction of the nearly $70 billion Congress allocated to K-12 schools during the Trump administration. Still, most schools around the country remain closed. CCSSO is a non-partisan, non-profit trade association for leaders of state education departments.