GovWin SLED Coronavirus Recon

Published: March 26, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

GovWin's SLED Coronavirus Recon, produced by Deltek's SLED Market Research team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by state, local, and educational (SLED) entities and the contractors that support them.

Word on the Street

(What our Analysts are hearing from government)

  • Massachusetts procurement portal CommBuys OSD Help Desk staff is operating remotely but are able to access and respond to EMAIL requests or questions. During this period, all inquiries must be emailed to OSDHelpDesk@mass.gov. Calls to their phone number will go straight to voicemail. While you may leave a voicemail, please provide your email address so that a member of OSD’s staff can respond; responses may be delayed.

General 

Funding & Economic Impact 

  • Stimulus bill: Who gets what from $2 trillion coronavirus relief package
    • This is the largest relief package in American history, with heavy emphasis to assist small businesses, the unemployed, aid to state and local governments, and grants to hospitals and nonprofit health organizations.
  • Emergency assistance for schools: $30 billion
    • The final package provides more than $30 billion in emergency education funding for colleges and universities, states and school districts. Democrats apparently called for double that amount of funding citing increased costs associated with special education.
  • State Aid Provisions of the Federal Coronavirus Response Bill
    • The $150 billion in the Coronavirus Relief Fund is mostly allocated by population, but with $3 billion reserved for U.S. territories and the District of Columbia and $8 billion set aside for tribal governments, along with a guarantee that each state receives at least $1.25 billion even if its population share would otherwise indicate a lesser amount.
    • Local governments with populations of 500,000 or more are also eligible for aid, and any aid they receive is subtracted from the amount otherwise available to their state’s government. This too is apportioned by population, but localities may only receive 45 percent of the amount associated with their population.
    • To be eligible for federal funding, state expenditures must meet three conditions. First, they must be necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Second, they must not be accounted for in the state or locality’s most recently approved budget (as of the time of the federal law’s enactment). And third, the expense must be incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020.
  • Louisiana state government spending over $71 million on coronavirus response
    • Dardenne's office, the division of Administration, has spent over $1 million in acquiring computers and other necessities needed for state workers to work from home.
    • Dardenne says more than $51 million of the total amount spent went towards supplies, including an extensive list of personal protection items for hospitals and other goods.
    • The Louisiana Department of Heath has spent close to $7.5 million. The Board of Regents, which oversees colleges and universities, lost approximately $16 million in revenue partly due to lost fees from students but has spent more than $1 million in response to the pandemic.
  • (New Mexico) State Investment Council Authorizes $100 Million NM Recovery Fund
    • The New Mexico State Investment Council unanimously approved a new recovery loan fund of up to $100 million designed to assist distressed New Mexico businesses facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis.
  • (Nebraska) Gov. Ricketts signs COVID-19 emergency funding bill, temporarily suspends evictions
    • Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets signed a bill providing emergency funding to combat COVID-19 in the state. Funding will support purchasing protective equipment, call center operations, and essential IT needs.
  • COVID-19 and the US economy: FAQ on the economic impact & policy response
    • Brookings has put together a FAQ on the economic impact and policy response for the US.      

Technology

Higher Education

  • How coronavirus is forcing online learning to evolve
    • Higher Education will likely never be the same after COVID-19. Many universities are struggling to maintain online presences and adapt to the shifting environment, however many universities are going increasingly online so this could provide the necessary catalyst to do so. This means stabilizing their existing technology and focusing the accessibility for teachers and students.
  • Hiring Freezes Begin
    • Many schools have been reporting they are going into hiring freezes. This shows a common response in times of uncertainty and focusing on existing resources and student-base.
  • Stimulus Package Contains $1 Billion for Colleges Serving Minority, Low-Income, First-Generation Students
    • Gives separate funding amount for historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions to help during shifts of Coronavirus especially for facilities and operational costs.  

K-12 Education

  • (Tennessee) Education leaders forced to make tough decisions amid coronavirus outbreak
    • Tennessee education commissioner, Penny Schwinn, also said the state department of education is also partnering with PBS stations to ensure students continue learning through the break.
    • Shelby County Schools announced their schools would be closed until further notice.
    • The state is seeking partnerships in order to ensure all students have broadband access.
  • The COVID-19 crisis and reflections on systems transformation
    • “One of the silver linings from this crisis may very well be reimagining what education can and should be in the 21st century. This may include the global community doubling down on investments to ensure continued educational opportunities in situations of instability and crisis, as well as further exploring distance learning possibilities.” – Times of uncertainly can often highlight important areas for growth as well as the overall health of the educational institution. Technology will certainly be a prevalent
  • Students with disabilities deprived of crucial services because of coronavirus closures (Los Angeles Unified School District)
    • It’s been stated the federal mandates around testing and assessments are being waived but IDEA requirements are not nor will they be. Many students with disabilities were receiving numerous services in order to maintain a learning environment much which cannot be moved online. Accessibility has proven to be a critical element of all educational services but in terms of those receiving special education services, the hands-on involvement of qualified educators or administrators is not able to be done at home or online. Also, many families rely on those services but also pay for them. Support claims are likely to be on the rise following the end of the school year.

Health Care

Justice/Public Safety

  • Law enforcement: No easy way to legally enforce quarantines, social distancing
    • Law enforcement across the country are dealing with or preparing to enforce shelter in place and social distancing orders. While they cannot force people to stay indoors, they can write citations to those whom disobey the orders set in place by government officials. Departments expect the situation to evolve as the weeks move forward, assuming orders stay in place or get stricter.
  • Lexipol launches Coronavirus Learning & Policy Center for public safety, local government
    • Lexipol has launched the Coronavirus Learning & Policy Center, “which provides free online access to coronavirus-related courses, policies and articles, as well as learning management tools to help first responders reduce risks associated with coronavirus response and to help agencies develop coronavirus policies and training.”
  • Calif. police using drones to patrol during COVID-19 lockdown
    • California police have purchased additional drones to help monitor the coronavirus situation. The drones will be mounted with speakers and can be used to help monitor the homeless population, as well as make emergency announcements to disperse crowds without getting police officers involved.

Social Services 

  • U.S. Jobless Claims Jump to 3.28 Million, Quadruple Prior Record
    • A total of 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended March 21, dwarfing previous highs in Labor Department reports published since 1967. Two weeks earlier, before closures of businesses swept across vast swaths of the country, the number stood at 211,000, close to a half-century low.

Transportation

Environment

  • COVID-19 may sport the thinnest silver lining: a cleaner climate
    • The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant decrease in pollution to the climate on a global scale, this article talks about the possibilities of a reduced carbon footprint moving forward. This has renewed the conversation on what a positive impact “going green” can have on the world’s climate. However, steps will need to be taken following the crisis to put an even bigger emphasis on reducing carbon emissions.