These are answers to some of the common questions I am receiving…
Will school funding be reduced if closed? Ed Code specifies that a district unable to operate a full school year due to an epidemic or an emergency order by a federal, state, city, or county official is to receive “the same funding from the State School Fund as it would have received” if it had operated for a full school year of 175 days (Educ. Code Sec. 41422)
Will schools that are closed have to make up the days at the end of the year? The Education Code excuses districts from complying with the full school year requirements in the event of an epidemic or order by a federal, state, city, or county official in response to an emergency (Educ. Code Sec. 41422). See also Educ. Code Sec. 37202 (excusing such schools from the “equal time” requirement).
Are districts obligated to pay staff at schools that are closed? Nothing in the Ed Code excuses districts from their contractual obligations to pay staff in the event a school is closed due to an epidemic or emergency order. The fact that the Ed Code protects the district’s funding makes it extremely difficult for districts to argue that they cannot comply with contractual commitments due to the school closure. For these reasons, the past practice in California has been to pay school staff even when schools are shut down due to an emergency. Past practice is legal terminology for what has been the precedent done in the past is what we shall follow now…even if not in the contract.
How will the district formulate a decision on closing schools? They will follow the directives of the CDC and the County Health Department.