SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure. The order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and high quality educational opportunities, provide school meals and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours.
“Closing schools has a massive, cascading effect for our kids and their families – especially those least equipped financially to deal with them. The needs of California kids must be met regardless of whether their school is open or closed. School districts that choose to close must use state educational dollars to quickly meet the needs of children and families. The State of California is working around the clock to help those districts and provide best practices to ensure no kid is left behind,” said Governor Newsom.
“I applaud Governor Newsom for the action in his Executive Order to provide schools with the tools they need to continue providing students with high quality education while keeping them safe. This allows schools to put safety first without jeopardizing the financial resources needed to meet the needs of our students. The California Department of Education looks forward to working closely with Governor Newsom and educators from across the state to provide guidance for addressing critical education issues such as providing students with meals and insuring the delivery of needed services and supports to students with disabilities,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
The order provides that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, school districts must:
– Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students through other options, distance learning and independent study;
– Safely provide school meals through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture;
– To the extent practicable, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hours
– Continue to pay employees.
The full executive order can be viewed here.
State Efforts to Assist California Workers
California will continue acting swiftly to help workers hurt by COVID-19. Affected workers can visit the Labor & Workforce Development Agency’s website to review what benefits are available to them. For instance,
– If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
– If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance. Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
– If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
– If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. All information and resources can be found at Labor.Ca.Gov/Coronavirus2019.
All Community Guidance Released from CDPH:
The California Department of Public Health has consolidated state guidance on how to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19 in a single location. This includes guidance for:
– Health care facilities, including long-term care facilities
– Community care facilities, including assisted living facilities and child care
– Schools and institutions of higher education
– First responders, including paramedics and EMTs
– Employers, health care workers and workers in general industry
– Health care plans
– Home cleaning with COVID-19 positive individuals
– Gathering Guidance
– Guidance for Using Disinfectants at Schools and Child Cares
– Health care facilities from Cal/OSHA
– Homelessness Providers
What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
California’s Response to COVID-19:
We have been actively and extensively planning with our local public health and health care delivery systems. Here are some of the things we are already doing:
– The Governor has signed an executive order further enhancing California’s ability to respond to the pandemic. The order directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria; waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19; and readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals, among other things.
– As in any public health event, the California Department of Public Health’s Medical and Health Coordination Center has been activated and is coordinating public health response efforts across the state.
– California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners, hospitals and physicians.
– Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19.
– Governor Gavin Newsom requested the Legislature make up to $20 million available for state government to respond to the spread of COVID-19.
– California activated the State Operations Center to its highest level to coordinate response efforts across the state.
– 24 million more Californians are now eligible for free medically necessary COVID-19 testing.
– California made available some of its emergency planning reserves of 21 million N95 filtering face piece masks for use in certain health care settings to ease shortages of personal protective equipment.
– The Public Health Department is providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California
– The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim.
– EDD is also encouraging employers who are experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy to apply for an Unemployment Insurance work sharing program.
– California continues to work in partnership with the federal government to aid in the safe return of 962 Californians from the Grand Princess cruise ship. This mission is centered around protecting the health of the passengers, and ensuring that when the passengers disembark, the public health of the United States, the State of California, and partner communities is protected.
– The Public Health Department is coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine of returning travelers.
– In coordination with the CDC, state and local health departments, we are actively responding to cases of COVID-19.
– The Public Health Department is supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories in the collection of specimens and testing for COVID-19.
The California Department of Public Health’s state laboratory in Richmond and 18 other public health department laboratories now have tests for the virus that causes COVID-19. Eighteen of them are currently conducting tests, with the others coming online soon.
For more the most up to date information on COVID-19 and California’s response, visit the CDPH website.
What about State employees who do not have childcare to cover the extended school closures and have exhausted all their leave? Will the State authorize ATO for these employees? If I have to take three weeks of dock because I have to care for my kids during the school closures will I be at risk of being considered AWOL?