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Reopening of Schools - July 15, 2020



Executive Order 2020-41

  • On July 24, 2020, as a condition for receiving full funding for distance learning students, public schools were directed to reopen school facilities for in-person, hybrid for full-time distance learning.


  • School facilities were required to be open for students to attend physically -- public schools were allowed but not required to provide in-person instruction. Public schools were permitted to partner with community-based organizations (e.g., Boys and Girls Club) to meet the requirement of an open facility for students to attend if necessary.


  • Public schools could offer hybrid or full-time distance learning as an option to parents through as Arizona Online Instruction (AOI) classification, which currently provides 95% funding for a full-time student, or 85% for a part-time student through current statutory formula.


  • As a supplement to the Executive Order, Governor Ducey allocated $200 million in stability grants from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) from which public schools could apply for reimbursement for the reduced statutory formula funding (5% or 15% difference) for distance learning students.


  • If a school district or charter school does not open a school or facility for students to attend physically, they do not qualify for the CARES Act stability grants. 


  • A public school must submit a plan before offering distance learning or August 14, 2020, whichever comes first, that details attendance requirements and tracking, detailed expectations of teachers and other staff working virtually, content delivery and monitoring of students, special education, English language learners, social and emotional support, and formative assessment and proficiency examinations. Schools must support each student, teacher and staff member with a device and internet connectivity.


  • Career and Technical Education Districts (CTEDs) may participate in distance learning options and the Executive Order provides exemptions to program requirements that cannot be achieved through distance learning.


  • The Executive Order includes academic and financial accountability measures including:

    • Benchmark testing within the first six (6) weeks of school for all grades K-12 in reading and math;

    • 180 days of instruction;

    • School facilities physically open at least the same of days per week in the 2020-2021 school year as the 2019-2020 school year;

    • Hybrid models of learning (in-person/distance) must include free onsite learning for students who need a place to go during the day;

    • Schools to contract with attendance and dropout recovery programs for students who not enrolled, engaged or who require remediation services.


  • Temporarily exempts public schools from state procurement requirements for the purchase made to address a need arising from the threat to public health, welfare or safety of staff and students directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Executive Order 2020-44

  • On June 29, 2020, Governor Ducey delayed the start of in-person instruction in school facilities until August 17, 2020. Schools can offer distance learning during this time, based on their regular academic calendars.


Financial Resources Allocated To Date

  • On June 24, Governor Ducey also announced funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) for educational institutions.

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