Triadvocates Navigator Special Edition: June 29, 2020

June 29,2020 | TRIADVOCATES

June 29, 2020


Gov. Ducey issues new executive orders as COVID-19 cases spike in Arizona

This afternoon, Gov. Doug Ducey banned large gatherings of more than 50 people, delayed the start date for schools, and ordered a statewide 30-day closure of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing rentals. The latest executive orders come as Arizona is experiencing one of the worst COVID-19 spikes in the country.


Here’s what you need to know:


Prohibited mass gatherings statewide

Effective today, organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited—even if appropriate physical distancing is possible. A city or county can approve a large gathering, but only if certain safety precautions are implemented. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses & Control will temporarily stop issuing special event and festival licenses.


The directive also caps swimming pool crowds at 10, allowing local governments to enforce closures and restrictions through July 27.


Statewide closures

Effective today at 8 p.m., the following establishments are ordered to temporarily close:


  • Bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license from the Department of Liquor Licenses & Control (these entities may provide take-out and curbside service); 
  • Indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers;
  • Indoor movie theaters;
  • Water parks;
  • And tubing operators.


Unless extended, the order remains in effect until July 27, after which businesses seeking to resume operations must demonstrate compliance with public health guidance as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services. 


You can find the official executive order HERE.



Delaying first day of school

The governor also ordered public schools to delay the start of in-person classes at least until August 17. The executive order includes the following directives:


  • Requires all schools to delay the start of “in-person classes” until August 17. Schools may begin on their regularly planned start date only if they conduct distance learning. 
  • Allows a school to delay the benchmark testing for math and English/language arts until the first six weeks after in-person classes begin. 
  • Requires students to be considered as an Arizona Online Instruction Program student for purposes of school funding calculations while participating in distance learning. 
  • Requires the Arizona Department of Education to conduct an analysis of the need to waive the number of school days that schools are required to provided schooling and the impact of such waiver. The analysis must be submitted to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, and the State Board of Education by August 31.
  • Instructs schools who have implemented child care programs to continue to offer those programs until the start of in-person classes. 


You can find the official executive order HERE.





New guidelines and funding allocation for schools reopening this fall


Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey and Schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a plan that will provide flexibility for school districts and charters to implement a hybrid of online and in-person instruction with predictability and assurance of fiscal stability. The goal is to give families the opportunity to choose the mode of learning that best fits their needs, as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. Here are the key policy initiatives: 


  • Allows schools to offer distance learning options for students; for the 2020-2021 school year, schools may begin operating their distance learning plans upon submission of the plan
  • Boosts funding for online learners up to the same level as in-person peers
  • Streamlines the purchasing process for schools to obtain PPE and other COVID-19 related costs, and provides flexibility to schools to offer virtual learning opportunities for families that don’t return to the classroom
  • Continues efforts to close the achievement gap by ensuring that children facing a digital divide have access to distance learning, with a significant investment in broadband infrastructure and connectivity to put our state on the path to ensuring no Arizona student is without internet access at home
  • Addresses the teacher shortage with an investment in the Arizona Teachers Academy; this investment will assist schools by providing more highly qualified teachers at the front of Arizona classrooms as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and into the future


The policies will remain in place through the remainder of the school year, until June 30, 2021. You can find the executive order HERE and a summary of the plan HERE.



The governor also announced $270 million in new funding to give Arizona public schools the tools to safely open at the start of the school year while helping to bridge the digital divide for students who choose to continue online learning. Here’s a breakdown of the funding allocation:


  • $200 million for the Enrollment Stability Grant Program to increase funding for remote learning and to protect schools against budget shortfalls due to declining enrollment
  • $40 million to expand broadband in rural communities
  • $20 million for Acceleration Academy Grants to bring in extra support for high-need schools
  • $6 million for the Arizona Teachers Academy to assist with the teacher shortage
  • $1 million in micro-grants to support innovative programs to continue educating Arizona students
  • $1 million for vehicles for the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind
  • $700,000 for leadership development through Beat The Odds Leadership Academy
  • $500,000 for tutoring from Teach For America to provide tutoring to kids most in need, in schools most impacted across the state.


In addition to the $270 million in one-time funding coming from the Governor’s Office, the Arizona Department of Education is providing more than $25 million from the CARES Act.


You can find the detailed funding plan HERE


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