GovWin Education Coronavirus Review

Published: March 23, 2020

CALIFORNIACoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicCISAEDUCEducation (Higher)Education (Primary/Secondary)Health ServicesInformation TechnologyJustice/Public Safety & Homeland SecurityMedical & Scientific EquipmentNEW HAMPSHIREOccupational Safety and HealthOperations & MaintenanceProfessional ServicesPublic Finance

A look at the Education market's response to Coronavirus. Issues addressed will continue to be monitored.

Higher Education:

The market is continuing with focus on creating safety net for those faced in loan delinquency and waves of no interest. The current period is for 60 days and long-term analysis is under review. The focus is to allow for money to be spent on essentials and avoid financial distress. Latest press release concerning Federal Student Loan Payments can be found here.

Higher education facilities are listed as critical infrastructure sectors and are to be treated as such as described by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security. Given many institutions health care facilities this is major priority during the state of California’s limited exposure measures.

Many states have higher education institutions as their largest employers and more than 10 associations that represent a bulk of U.S. higher education have highlighted important measures that are deemed responsible to the federal government in protecting higher ed’s stability and growth. See full analysis here with major highlights below: 

  • Emergency aid targeted to students and colleges: use targeted student aid to help students in most need
  • Access to low-cost capital: use accessibility to zero-interest loans to help colleges weather these changes and return to normal operations
  • Technology implementation fund: calling for almost $8 billion in aid for colleges and universities to shift to entirely online learning
  • More regulatory flexibility: having the federal government shift its requirements relating to the eligibility, determination and disbursement of federal financial aid

Many universities have dropped requirements for applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, citing the COVID-19 pandemic with a lot of discussion that the SAT will need to be dropped given the College Board cancelling many of the tests for the remainder of Spring 2020.

Primary Education:

The New Hampshire Department of Education says school districts should make plans for remote learning to continue until the end of the semester. This is likely to continue through the bulk of the northeast United States with most colleges and universities of the Northeast United States already cancelling commencement and shifting to remote learning for the remainder of the semester.

In K-12, Education Secretary announced the department will waive standardized test requirements for states affected by the virus. States must apply for the exemption, and many have already begun to do so. Even with most states using computer-based testing the issues of accessibility are a major concern and with grade reporting already being estimated for the remainder of the semester the best estimation is that assessments will need to be exempt.

Overall, based on ESSA guidelines and the heavy reliance on statewide testing for not only growth measurement but also advancement, tests may be scheduled in the fall semester. This information will likely not be considered until the summer.