GovWin SLED Weekly Coronavirus Recon

Published: September 11, 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

  • (Texas) Outdated State Computer System Caused Late COVID-19 Case Reports
    • A state computer system that was overdue for an upgrade when the pandemic struck is the cause of a delay in data being reported late. Hundreds of thousands of Texas COVID-19 cases have been reported weeks or months late.
  • Governor preparing report on COVID-19 effects within South Dakota’s state government
    • The South Dakota Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has called for Scott Bollinger, the governor’s commissioner of administration, to present a report on state government’s building needs.
    • Governor Kristi Noem now plans to use that platform to show lawmakers how COVID-19 has affected the physical space and, going forward, the schedules of many in state government’s workforce.
  • COVID-19 response largely has fallen to state and local officials, who ‘have taken a significant leading role’
    • With limited federal action, state and local governments have had to step up to issue executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Officials have been put in “unique” positions to regulate a public health crisis, said Peter Federman, assistant professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
  • (Minnesota) Gov. Tim Walz To Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers
    • Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that he is planning on extending the "COVID-19 peacetime emergency" by 30 days. Walz's office says the extension will ensure the state government can quickly respond to the "evolving threats" from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • (Texas) Statewide COVID-19 disaster declaration extended by Gov. Greg Abbott
    • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday again extended the statewide COVID-19 disaster declaration. The declaration was originally issued on March 13 and covers all Texas counties. It was put in place to provide the state with a variety of resources to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • (California) LA's use of Citizen for contact tracing has some privacy advocates worried
    • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city will debut a new contact-tracing app developed by Citizen, a developer accused by some privacy advocates of “breeding paranoia.”
  • How state technology chiefs showed flexibility during the pandemic
    • State technology leaders have taken on new responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic, including guiding government employees through the process of working remotely and ensuring that their states’ health data is accurate and available to the right agencies.
  • Virginia datathon to tackle communities' COVID-19 challenges
    • Virginia’s annual datathon event, which challenges students, technologists and state-government employees to solve various social problems using data, will include some new twists.
    • In addition to being held virtually for the first time Oct. 1-2, the competition’s theme of “Communities and COVID-19” is designed to be broader than in past years so teams can address a wide range of social problems exacerbated by the pandemic, organizers said.

Funding & Economic Impact

Higher Education

K-12 Education

  • COVID-19 money to improve internet access for North Carolina students
    • North Carolina's state government is using federal COVID-19 relief dollars to purchase equipment so more public school students can access online classes and homework help.
  • (Hawaii) $10M Federal COVID-19 Grant Focuses On Teacher Training
    • State education leaders plan to use a $10 million federal grant intended for emergency education assistance during the pandemic on professional development for teachers and “innovation grants” for schools to devise ways to close the digital equity gap, according to a preliminary report.
  • (Oklahoma) Federal courts aligning against use of CARES Act funding for private school tuition
    • Gov. Kevin Stitt’s use of $10 million from the federal CARES Act for private school tuition is at odds with federal court interpretations, and he ought to change course.
  • Spotty virus tracking in schools is leaving millions in the dark on infection rates
    • The data on how coronavirus is spreading at schools and colleges is inconsistent, erratic — and sometimes purposely kept out of the public’s reach. Federal rules don’t specifically require tracking or reporting the numbers by school or college, despite pressure from President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to open schools and colleges for in-person classes. The result is a distorted picture of how and where the virus may be spreading, not just for parents, teachers, students and professors, but the cities and towns where campuses are located.
  • Report: Schools Need 176 Million Tests Each Month to Safely Reopen
    • The warning is part of a larger report that estimates the country needs as many as 193 million monthly tests in order to safeguard schools, nursing homes and other aspects of American life.
  • Student Assessment During COVID-19
    • Some state leaders are asking the U.S. Department of Education to waive the annual federal testing and accountability requirements for 2021, which are key to understanding and addressing gaps in education among students. This call follows the mass request and granting of waivers of the federal annual standardized test requirements in the spring of 2020, when schools physically closed, and tests could not be administered.
    • A reason cited for why to continue assessments is to better understand and address the extent of the gaps in education among students and student populations that have been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, that assessments can be argued to bring equity to education.
  • College reopening’s push K-12 schools online
    • Many educators and leaders are saying that grade school students won’t be able to build the same social and emotional skills virtually as they would in a classroom, with their peers and with a teacher. Experts worry those will be hard to get back if children fall behind. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said that getting those students back in a classroom should be the priority.
  • (Georgia) Ga School Superintendent Slams U.S. Education Secretary of Testing Requirements During COVID-19
    • Chief State School Officers received a letter from Secretary Betsy DeVos this week stating that the U.S. Department of Education does not plan to grant federal testing waivers for the 2020-21 school year.
  • (Colorado) Gov. Jared Polis Launches $32.7 Million Fund To Incubate Ideas To Improve Student Learning During The Pandemic
    • The $32.7 million grant program launched by the Colorado Governor seeks to create innovations that would help the state’s most disadvantaged students. The grant funding comes from the federal stimulus money provided by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Gov. Polis is hoping the program will foster new models of learning, sustainable educational practices, and ways to strengthen the connections between high school, college, and careers.

Health Care

Social Services 

Justice/Public Safety

Transportation

Public Utilities

Community Development/Housing