Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. introduced the Pandemic Planning and Response for Schools Act today. The bill would “require the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Education to create a public plan for the continuation of education during a public health emergency.”
“My bill is a direct response to the failed leadership of the Trump Administration regarding how to reopen schools during this global pandemic,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Right now, we have school districts across the country trying to figure out how to teach students and keep them safe during this public health crisis without any federal guidelines or standards. We need a plan from the two federal agencies that handle public health and education to guide schools on what to do during such an emergency.”
The bill states that a plan to outline how to continue student education during a public health crisis must be created and available to Congress, the States, and the public no later than 30 days after an emergency has been declared. The plan would provide requirements and recommendations on how to protect students and faculty during in-class instruction. If schools need to be closed, the plan would give directions regarding how to conduct online classes with direct supervision from a teacher or classroom instructor. In addition, it would provide rules and guidelines for what to do if schools use in-class and online instruction for students during the emergency.