Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation today to support schools during closures due to COVID-19.
PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation to support schools during closures, provide clarity and flexibility on statewide testing requirements and school letter grades, give direction on make-up days, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.
The legislation, H.B. 2910, was introduced by Representative Michelle Udall and received unanimous support in both the House and the Senate.
“During this unprecedented time, parents and educators need certainty so they can plan and make decisions — and this bill provides it,” said Governor Ducey. “It protects our teachers and prioritizes our students, ensuring kids continue to receive instruction even with schools closed. I’m grateful to our education leaders, Superintendent Hoffman, Representative Udall and Senator Sylvia Allen for their leadership, and thank members of both parties for their unanimous support. This is what coming together to support our kids and families looks like, and Arizona is again leading the way.”
Under H.B. 2910, public schools in the state are not required to extend the number of school days or add additional instructional hours to make up for the days missed after the statewide closure ends. The statewide assessment requirement for 2020 is canceled. All school employees—including hourly employees—will continue to be paid during the closures.
Additionally, beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020, schools will offer students general education through alternative formats for the duration of the closure. This allows public school employees who are able to perform their tasks outside of school to resume work remotely on March 30. If an employee is unable to perform their work remotely, they will be assigned other tasks.
On Sunday, March 15, Governor Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a statewide closure of Arizona schools from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. On Friday, March 20, they announced a two-week extension of school closures through Friday, April 10. During the closure, the Governor and Superintendent Hoffman request that schools adhere to the following measures:
- School administrators should make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that can be sent home.
- School administrators should work with the Arizona Department of Education to provide breakfast and lunch services for Arizona students.
- As demand rises on health care professionals and first responders, schools should consider expanding child care programs currently available to ensure minimal disruption to these critical jobs as a result of the school closure.
- When school resumes, school administrators should develop and implement precautions to ensure schools are a safe learning environment, including social distancing measures, regular intervals for administrators to wash and sanitize their hands, and guidance on how to properly and frequently sanitize election equipment and common surfaces.