What Charter Schools Need to Know: Federal COVID-19 Response Legislation and Charter Schools | Bellwether Education Partners Skip to main content

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What Charter Schools Need to Know: Federal COVID-19 Response Legislation and Charter Schools

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In March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed a series of three laws intended to strengthen the capacity of federal, state, and local governments and health systems to prepare for, prevent, or respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These laws also provide financial assistance to individuals, businesses, and state and local governments affected by health or economic impacts of COVID-19 and related closures. Cumulatively these laws appropriated more than $2 trillion in emergency funding and made changes to numerous federal policies related to employee paid leave, small business lending, health care, education, and the tax code. 

Many of these provisions and funds have implications for charter schools, along with other public schools and education nonprofits. A new resource guide created by Bellwether Education Partners in partnership with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools looks at the implications of federal COVID-19 response legislation passed in March 2020 for public charter schools, including: 

  • New paid sick and family leave requirements that affect charter schools as employers
  • Financial assistance for small- and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits that charter schools may also be eligible to access 
  • Provisions that support elementary and secondary schools and state education systems in preventing, preparing for, and responding to effects of the novel coronavirus
  • Non-education funding streams and flexibilities that charter schools and other public schools or education nonprofits may be able to use to cover costs associated with responding the novel coronavirus or better serve children, families, and communities during this public health emergency
  • Provisions related to student loans and the Corporation for National and Community Service that may affect some charter school employees

At the time this document was created, many federal agencies were still developing guidance around policy changes and processes to distribute funds provided through this legislation. This resource will continue to be updated regularly as additional information and guidance becomes available from federal agencies. 

Visit https://covid.publiccharters.org/legislation to view the resource.