GovWin SLED Coronavirus Recon

Published: June 29, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicRecon

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.

General

Funding & Economic Impact

Higher Education

  • New rule requires University of Tennessee students to get flu vaccines              
    • Tennessee students will have to get their flu shot this fall and also be immunized for COVID-19 if a vaccine becomes available under an emergency rule unanimously approved Friday by the university’s Board of Trustees.
  • (Alabama) Governor Ivey announces COVID-19 testing, safety programs developed by UAB and the State Department of Public Health to support higher ed statewide
    • Governor Kay Ivey announced two programs that will provide robust COVID-19 testing and symptom monitoring, as well as notification of exposure to COVID-19, initially to public institutions of higher education. This is an initiative that will be supported by $30 million of federal CARES Act money.
    • The programs, Testing for Alabama and Stay Safe Together, will be implemented by a coalition led by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The platforms will support public institutions of higher education to enhance safety on campus during the pandemic, and may later support businesses and other entities.
  • Despite pandemic fears, fall enrollment for Minnesota higher ed looks relatively steady
    • Despite the disruptions, the incoming class is looking pretty normal, as stated by Richard Aune, a Minnesota school’s associate vice president and dean of admission: while applications were down slightly, the school is ahead of its target for the number of students enrolled.
    • For the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, the freshman class is expected to be normal in size, but a different mix of students due to COVID-19. Because of the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the school is expecting its freshman class to skew a little more local this fall.
  • NC legislature passes a bill protecting universities from COVID-19 tuition refunds
    • The North Carolina legislature passed a bill that provides immunity for colleges and universities for legal claims related to COVID-19 closures for the 2020 spring semester. Now, colleges and universities are protected as long as their decisions were made to protect the public health, safety, or welfare in response to the coronavirus pandemic and they offered remote learning options for enrolled students that enabled students to complete their coursework.
    • This new law will apply to universities in the UNC System, community colleges and private universities in the state and all actions taken on or after March 27.

K-12 Education

  • (Virginia) How Fairfax County schools are funding coronavirus changes
    • Fairfax County Public Schools are planning to see students back in their buildings this fall, and that means a host of changes to protects against the coronavirus. But the changes will cost money, and the question now is where to find that money.
  • Minnesota schools face uncertainty amid a pandemic-related budget crunch
    • Minnesota school districts scrambling to prepare for an uncertain academic year are tallying the millions of dollars they'll have to spend — and that they could lose — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Chicago launches $50 million Obama-backed broadband program to close K-12 digital divide
    • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to provide more than 100,000 K-12 students with at-home internet connections. As the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S., many students have struggled to find reliable internet connections. The Chicago Connected program aims to supply free wired internet to students for up to four years, along with mobile hot spot devices for students in temporary living situations. The $50 million program will supply the most at-risk students in the Chicago public school system, including those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, those who qualify for Medicaid and students who are English language learners or in temporary living situations.
  • California Legislature approves state budget; here are the highlights for education funding
    • With crossed fingers, the Legislature passed and sent a 2020-21 state budget to Gov. Gavin Newsom that will rely on $14 billion in additional congressional coronavirus relief to avert cuts to early and higher education. State funding for K-12 schools will be the same as last year, although school districts and charter schools will have to wait for a year to be repaid for $11 billion in funding.
  • Ohio Educators Question COVID Funding Needs
    • That's still a question without a definitive answer in Ohio as districts adjust to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Questions remain around access to technology if students must be remote during the next schools year, as well as students struggling with behavioral health issues.
  • Gov. Hogan, State Superintendent announce $210 million in additional funding to help Maryland schools
    • Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced $210 million in additional funding to help Maryland schools and students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • (Arizona) Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open
    • Gov. Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order and unveiled a plan with the Arizona Department of Education that provide instruction flexibility and additional funding as schools re-open with COVID-19 precautions in place. The Governor along with Supt. of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman issued AZCares: Flexibility and Funding for Schools and Families Plan which provides for $270 million in one-time funding coming from the Governor’s Office and was developed in consultation with superintendents and school leaders from around the state, and the education community.
  • Ambitious research project — to review how every school in America responded to COVID-19 — aims to deliver its first findings in early July
    • A new research effort underway at Tulane University aims to track how every K-12 school in the United States — district, charter and private — responded to the coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt shift to remote learning that came with it. The first report is expected to be published soon as early July so policymakers and education leaders making decisions about the fall can use it.
  • K-12 Student Digital Divide Much Larger Than Previously Estimated and Affects Teachers, Too, New Analysis Shows
    • With the prospect of another distance learning school year on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis released finds that a full 15 to 16 million public school students across the United States live in households without adequate internet access or computing devices to facilitate distance learning.
  • What Indiana's K-12 Schools Can Learn From Colleges' Reopening Plans
    • While most district superintendents are still figuring out how to implement precautions, plans for many higher education institutions facing financial pressure to reopen have already been released. And the university officials who put them together say they can prove instructive for K-12 schools.
    • Ivy Tech's Vice President of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Jonathon Barefoot recommends for Schools to cohort younger students who can't independently complete e-learning, he said, keeping them grouped together so if one child becomes positive they will only have exposed a small number of classmates.
  • (Maryland) Governor Hogan and Superintendent Salmon Announce $210 Million in COVID-19 Relief For Remote Learning and Targeted Tutoring
    • Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced $210 million in additional funding to help Maryland schools and students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, allocated through the federal CARES Act, will be used to ensure that more students have access to remote learning, and expand targeted tutoring initiatives for at-risk students.
  • How Illinois Schools Will Reopen This Fall
    • Gov. JB Pritzker has greenlighted a return to school this fall, with everyone in masks, but it leaves open the possibility of local districts and private schools to create their own plans. The state’s guidelines “strongly encourage” schools to provide in-person instruction, especially for students under 13.

Health Care

Social Services 

  • (Virginia) Food card snafu resolved
    • Along with the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus has come welcome assistance from local, state and federal governments. But getting that help to citizens can be a messy process.
  • Federal relief boosts Montana incomes as economy sags
    • Despite an unemployment spike and an overall economic contraction, personal income in Montana has risen so far this year thanks to federal spending on coronavirus relief, according to a report published this week by Montana’s Legislative Fiscal Division.
  • (Oklahoma) State unemployment agency trying to catch up with jobless claims deluge
    • For hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans, applying for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs due to COVID-19 has meant being trapped in a nightmare of crashing web pages, hours-long hold times and promised calls back that never arrive.
    • More than 258,000 Oklahomans filed initial and continuing unemployment claims the week of June 6-13. But the employment commission only processed approximately 177,000 claims during the comparable seven-day period, June 10-17.
  • New Mexico Delegation Applauds HUD Grant To Help Alleviate Risk Of COVID-19 Among Homeless Population
    • HUD has awarded $15,455,067 to the state of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in communities with at-risk individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homelessness assistance.
  • Galvanized by coronavirus fears, California lawmakers push bills on homelessness
    • One bill would require state and local leaders to develop a plan to eradicate homelessness within eight years. Another would set aside $2 billion a year for shelter operations, homelessness prevention and other related services.
  • Pandemic hits Connecticut’s unemployment trust fund — and state businesses will pay
    • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Connecticut had a little more than $700 million in its unemployment trust fund in February before the pandemic hit. According to the federal agency, however, the fund needed at least $1.5 billion to handle an economic downturn.

Justice/Public Safety

Transportation

Public Utilities

  • COVID-19 propels microgrids in healthcare sector, but regulatory, awareness hurdles remain
    • In 2018, with a nearly $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), a company called Charge Bliss built a 250 kW, 1 MWh solar and battery storage microgrid on top of a medical center in Richmond, California. The center saw immediate benefits, including a roughly one-third reduction in energy costs, according to healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente. Now, as the medical industry continues to reckon with COVID-19 and California faces the likelihood of more wildfire-related power outages, Kaiser is looking to deploy more solar-plus-storage systems and fuel cells.
  • House Democrats unveil major clean energy bill as Senate GOP mulls timeline for economic stimulus
    • Congress has passed three stimulus packages since the U.S. economy began its rapid decline following shutdown orders in March. But despite the loss of over 620,000 jobs in the clean energy sector, or 18.5% of its workforce, and calls from advocates, policy experts, economists and others for a green recovery package, federal lawmakers have yet to pass legislation that directly addresses the renewables industries' needs.

Community Development/Housing