While we know you are focused on responding to the coronavirus crisis, we want to pass along some information that will make life a little easier in the future.
Both the state and federal governments recently passed legislation to release COVID-19 funding to local educational agencies.
Senate Bill 117 makes state funds available to purchase personal protective equipment, supplies, and labor used to clean school sites. CDE has just released a new resource code (7388) that you can use to track costs associated with the purchase of protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes federal funds available to meet the needs of students and teachers, improve the use of education technology, support distance education, and make up for lost learning time.
With the expectation of new COVID-19 laws on the horizon, which could also lead to a reimbursable state mandate, we recommend that all districts keep track of the following coronavirus response activities and costs.
Time spent deciding if/when to close schools/resume the school year. When possible, please utilize sign-in sheets and agendas as source documents.
Time spent planning and preparing online education programs. This can include time spent by cabinet members preparing the plan as well as the time spent training your teachers on how to implement the online education process. Again, when possible use sign-in sheets and agendas as source documents.
Time spent planning/preparing/implementing “deep cleaning” programs at school facilities. Include invoices for the cost of cleaning supplies and protective equipment (masks, gloves, respirators, etc.) for the janitorial staff, if applicable.
Costs incurred to provide information to parents regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including but not limited to how the district is responding to the virus to keep everyone in the school community safe, alternate means of educating students (online learning), and what the district is doing to keep the schools clean and safe, etc.
Additional costs incurred such as Wi-Fi hot spots, remote PC applications, on-line learning subscriptions and platforms, additional digital licenses for textbooks, purchases of additional Chrome Books, and additional cell phones to allow work from home.
Keeping track of these costs will help to determine if the state and federal funds you receive are sufficient to cover all of the costs you’ve incurred and will put you in a good position if any future law is determined by the state to be a reimbursable mandated cost.
As a client of ours, consider us your back office support! Your Program Advisor will be in contact with you soon to review these items and assist with tracking and collection. We will be closely watching these issues and keep you informed with any new developments.
Stay safe and until next time,
Mike Brown, Good Governance Program Manager