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Education Policy

A Comprehensive Equity Approach to Addressing COVID-19’s Impact on Schools

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the issues that have impacted students and families for generations, including access to well-funded educational programs, digital devices and connectivity, and affordable housing and healthcare. 

Responding to the impact of COVID-19 on schools requires taking a critical look at many systemic inequities and listening to the communities most impacted by the pandemic.   


Policy Recommendations for Texas

The Texas Legislature should…

  • Create a statewide broadband plan for rural and urban communities. The plan should address education needs to close the digital divide for students of our most vulnerable populations – students with disabilities, English learner (emergent bilingual) students, students from low-income families, and students of color – across K-12 schools and higher education.
  • Increase financial support and training resources for digital literacy programs to support access, connectivity, and academic and social engagement of students in either virtual or in-person learning environments.
  • Provide support for student and educator physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Support continued distance-learning activities, ensuring all students and their families are connected to their school and have access to education, resources and a robust two-way communication system.
  • Avoid across-the-board cuts to education and health services. Use the state Economic Stabilization Funds (or “Rainy Day Funds”) to stabilize the state budget and school district funding for COVID-19-related expenditures.
  • Increase resources for family support personnel and programs, including parent support specialists and family liaisons.

Resources 

Learn more about IDRA’s comprehensive approach to COVID-19’s impact on schools. See our Policy Primer: Ensuring Education Equity During and After COVID-19, IDRA’s living document listing policies to preserve and promote educational equity. See the guide in Spanish, Garantizar la equidad educativa durante y después de COVID-19.

Video Spotlight on the Rules for Reopening Texas Schools

IDRA is releasing policy updates for schools regarding COVID-19 each Friday in our Learning Goes On eNews (sign up free). See a log of the updates here in English and in Spanish.

Cutting Public School Relief Funds to Subsidize Private Schools – An Analysis of How the Department of Education’s Equitable Services Rule Will Harm Texas Students and School Districts, IDRA Issue Brief • July 16, 2020

IDRA analysis: Without Intervention, COVID-19-Induced Budgetary Shortfalls Will Fall Hardest on Marginalized Students in the South

IDRA resource: Ensuring Equity in Online Learning – Considerations in Response to COVID-19’s Impact on Schooling

Letters and Public Comments

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