On Jan. 21, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. signed the: Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers."
Below are a few excerpts. For the full order, click here.
"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, to ensure that students receive a high-quality education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to support the safe reopening and continued operation of schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. ... Two principles should guide the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis with respect to schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and higher education institutions. First, the health and safety of children, students, educators, families, and communities is paramount. Second, every student in the United States should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, during and beyond the pandemic.
Accordingly, it is the policy of my Administration to provide support to help create the conditions for safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible; ensure high-quality instruction and the delivery of essential services often received by students and young children at school, institutions of higher education, child care providers, and Head Start programs; mitigate learning loss caused by the pandemic; and address educational disparities and inequities that the pandemic has created and exacerbated.
Sec. 2. Agency Roles and Responsibilities. The following assignments of responsibility shall be exercised in furtherance of the policy described in section 1 of this order:
(a) The Secretary of Education shall, consistent with applicable law:
(i) provide, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, evidence-based guidance to assist States and elementary and secondary schools in deciding whether and how to reopen, and how to remain open, for in-person learning; and in safely conducting in-person learning, including by implementing mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing;
(iv) develop a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse to enable schools and institutions of higher education to share lessons learned and best practices for operating safely during the pandemic;
(b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, consistent with applicable law:
(iv) provide guidance needed for child care providers and Head Start programs for safely reopening and operating, including procedures for mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing, as well as guidance related to meeting the needs of children, families, and staff who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including trauma-informed care, behavioral and mental health support, and family support, as appropriate; and ... "
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2021.