WASHINGTON—The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission’s 264 recommendations to save lives and livelihoods call on governments at every level to work toward reopening America expeditiously. Safely getting students back in the classroom as soon possible will play a critical role in helping Americans return to work and enabling economic recovery, says Lindsey Burke, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.
Students, parents, and teachers cannot afford to have their education put on hold. Burke identifies 10 of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission’s recommendations targeted at safely reopening K-12 schools and improving America’s education system. (Read her full report.)
- K-12 schools should act proactively in concert with state and local health officials to assist school administrators in making reopening decisions.
- State and local governments should allow K-12 schools to open this fall and selectively quarantine any students, faculty, or staff who show coronavirus-like symptoms by sending them home.
- State and local governments should make decisions based on data for the local district, and even the specific school, not the entire state.
- State and local governments should consider suspending in-person operations schoolwide only if a school’s COVID-19 cases increase beyond an acceptable number as determined by health professionals.
- States should help families return to work and students maintain education continuity by making education funding student-centered and portable.
- States with online schools lift any barriers to access, including caps, enrollment restrictions, or grade prohibitions for students in grades K-12.
- Congress should provide spending flexibility with existing education dollars.
- Congress should make federal funding portable for children from low-income families and children with special needs.
- Congress should also support the education of military-connected children.
- Congress should expand access to 529 savings accounts.
Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, made up of 17 top experts and thinkers, has put forward 264 recommendations that represent a strategy for achieving a prudent balance to protect both lives and livelihoods.
The commission will deliver its final report and recommendations in June. All of the recommendations are available here.
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