Policy and Funding
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic presents many fiscal challenges for delivery of instruction and related services to students in addition to other basic operational needs. Readying facilities, purchasing supplies, transporting, and feeding students may look drastically different in the upcoming school year. This section will focus on existing and pending federal and state legislation, regulations, and guidance to predict the potential impact on districts and provide targeted assistance to help districts cope. The NJDOE plans to leverage these resources to assist districts.
Districts are near the close of their FY20 budget year and have already finalized their FY21 budgets. Because of the timing of the budget process, many of the activities listed below have not been, and cannot be, factored into either budget year without additional revenue outside the amount they anticipated for FY21 in February, and budget transfers that current statute does not authorize at the start of the school year.
This section will address the following policy and funding related activities by:
- Providing guidance and supports on the most effective and impactful use of federal funding & flexibility;
- Continuing advocacy at the state level, particularly around additional resources to address the economic impacts of COVID-19;
- Sharing strategies to mitigate the impact of projected budget shortfalls;
- Reviewing literature from across the nation to glean evidence-based practices that can be situated within the context of New Jersey public schools; and
- Engaging in stakeholder conversations to gather feedback to further grow our understanding of what is needed for New Jersey schools to reopen.
Except where otherwise indicated, the provisions of this section are “Additional Considerations” that may help districts in considering ways to adhere to the anticipated minimum reopening standards.