May 4, 2020

Hall Pass for May 2020

Hello and Good Day to You!

Today we enter our 8th week of sheltering in place and the 7th week of schools closed due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. I am at it yet again, continuing to work on your behalf to add to your knowledge and help you with your continued success. School projects are moving forward and districts continue to look for outside support with their pressing needs.

We live in the greatest country in the world, but it’s not perfect. We were reminded this past week about how much we don’t like it when our freedom and liberties are taken away. We have learned that we were not prepared and that our medical system has flaws. We also learned how to pull together and how to rely on each other to make the best of a lousy situation.

While the range of impacts on public health are arguably narrowing, the range of economic impacts continue to be wide open. This last couple of weeks have provided us with a bit more information on the potential budget impacts to TK-12.

TK-12 Budget and Fiscal Impacts

What will happen with funding for schools as the economy slows to a halt? A long-term consultant for school districts on fiscal and operations, my friend and colleague Bob Blatter, provides insights on the budget implications. Bob talks about how schools are getting hammered from both sides, revenues are dropping, and yet districts are facing added expenses. He provides some informed predictions on support for Districts.

The CARES Act requires States provide ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds to LEAs in proportion to the amount of funds received under Title I. Estimating approximately $325 per ADA, School Services of California provides a calculator for determining the allocation amounts.

School Services of California provides some ideas about budget reduction strategies.

Why funding schools is critical for the California Economy- a CASBO sponsored webinar.

 

Teaching, Learning and School District Operations

This article is one of my favorites! The superintendent of the South Bay School District, our friend Katie McNamara reflects on how schools may need to speed up the work in preparation for opening in this informative podcast. Her comments reveal the complexity of the issues our clients are facing and her concerns about student and staff safety are noteworthy. She is insightful and caring in her discussion about the implications of speeding up the preparation work. Katie is a local and state-wide leader. Not only is she tackling the task of leading her district on reopening, she is also chairing ACSA’s Task Force to explore what schools might look like this fall.

Talk of blending both in person and distance learning might mean that the Pandemic could change education for decades.

Focus is turning to how schools might open in the Fall. Governor Newsom caught Districts by surprise in proposing schools reopen in July.

 

Inspiration

I love this insight. I was very inspired by Author Kelly Corrigan and her humble opinion on imagining a world after the pandemic – and how the experience might change us.

Expressions of joy in the lockdown, appreciation for nature and cleaner air, and how some are taking advantage of the opportunity.

These challenging times provide us an opportunity to reflect; the shutdown has reminded me of how packed my life was. Laurie and I are enjoying working from home and appreciating our family and friends. Our 3-year-old grandson Kaden said to me last week, “It’s hard to wait, Papa.” Yes Kaden, indeed it is!

I wish you a sense of calm and continued good health and wellness. Stay safe and be well- this too shall pass!

Eric J. Hall, President