UPDATED: Where All 50 States (Plus D.C.) Stand with Coronavirus School Closures
While the vast majority of states have closed schools for the remainder of the school year, some are still holding out hope.
LAST UPDATE: 5/6/20
All but seven states have ordered public and private schools to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some states made the announcement back in March while others waited until May.
Some governors who have not announced a decision to close schools for the remainder of the year are urging local school leaders to make contingency plans for the possibility. Others have even said they are unsure if in-person classes will resume in the fall.
On April 27, President Donald Trump said that states should “seriously consider” reopening public schools before the end of the academic year, leading to discussions in some states about opening schools to certain populations, according to AP News. Colorado Governor Jared Polis said although Colorado schools aren’t fully reopening before summer, he hopes to open some buildings for special education meetings and small groups of students in vocational programs.
“We’re hoping at least for those last few weeks that kids who are taking classes that need the physical equipment, they can come in in smaller groups,” Polis said. “But we want to reconfigure it with better social distancing for next school year.”
So far, the states that have extended distance learning for the remainder of the year include:
- Alabama (announced March 26)
- Alaska (announced April 9)
- Arizona (announced March 30)
- Arkansas (announced April 6)
- California (announced April 1)
- Colorado (announced 4/20)
- Connecticut (announced 5/5)
- Delaware (announced April 24)
- District of Columbia (announced April 17)
- Florida (announced April 18)
- Georgia (announced April 1)
- Hawaii (announced April 17)
- Illinois (announced April 17)
- Indiana (announced April 2)
- Iowa (announced April 17)
- Kansas (announced March 17)
- Kentucky (announced April 20)
- Louisiana (announced April 15)
- Maryland (announced May 6)
- Massachusetts (announced April 21)
- Michigan (announced April 2)
- Minnesota (announced April 23)
- Mississippi (announced April 14)
- Missouri (announced April 9)
- Nevada (announced April 21)
- New Hampshire (announced April 16)
- New Jersey (announced 5/4)
- New Mexico (announced March 26)
- New York (announced May 1)
- North Carolina (announced April 24)
- North Dakota (announced May 1)
- Ohio (announced April 20)
- Oklahoma (announced March 25)
- Oregon (announced April 8)
- Pennsylvania (announced April 9)
- Rhode Island (announced April 23)
- South Carolina (announced April 22)
- South Dakota (announced April 6)
- Texas (announced April 17)
- Utah (announced April 14)
- Vermont (announced March 26)
- Virginia (announced March 23)
- Washington (announced April 6)
- West Virginia (announced April 21)
- Wisconsin (announced April 16)
Here’s where the other 6 states stand (alphabetically by category):
Schools Closed Into May
- Nebraska: Governor Pete Ricketts announced on April 1 that schools would be closed through May 31. Last week, Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt advised local school leaders to create contingency plans as he does not “believe it will be normal in the fall,” reports Omaha World-Herald.
Other States’ Recommendations/Orders
- Idaho: On April 16, the Idaho State Board of Education said local school districts could choose to open if certain criteria are met, including no statewide or local social distancing restrictions are in place, the peak of the state infection curve has passed, and it is approved by the local public health district, among other things. The full “re-entry criteria” can be read here.
- Maine: On April 7, Commissioner of Education Pender Makin, with the support of Governor Janet Mills, recommended schools extend remote learning through the end of the school year, although it has not been mandated. On April 29, Governor Janet Mills extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31.
- Montana: On April 22, Governor Steve Bullock announced schools have the option to return to in-classroom teaching beginning May 7. Many districts have made a choice to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
- Tennessee: On April 16, Governor Bill Lee recommended schools remain closed for the remainder of the year but has not yet mandated it. The state’s stay-at-home order has been extended through May 30.
- Wyoming: On April 23, State Superintendent Jillian Balow said there is an “opportunity” for local school districts to work with county health officials to open schools to “special populations” after May 15, including students who are on individualized education plans with special needs, career and technical education and small group reading intervention.
We will continue to update this list as more decisions are made.
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