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Overview and News

 

Bits:

As of 2:00PM on May 21, Missouri has had 11,340 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 661 deaths have been attributed to the virus.

Updates from the Governor’s Office from this week:

At the conclusion of the 2nd Regular Session of the 100th Missouri General Assembly, 50 pieces of legislation had been “Truly Agreed and Finally Passed.” 

  • 18 House Budget Bills
  • 16 House Policy Bills
  • 13 Senate Policy Bills
  • 2 Senate Concurrent Resolutions
  • 1 Senate Joint Resolution

Many of the policy bills sent to the Governor had 10+ separate pieces of legislation within the single, approved bill. In total, more than 2,200 bills were filed between the House and Senate.

Legislation that did not pass include: a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, Wayfair fix for the collection of sales taxes on online purchases, and work requirements for SNAP and Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Treasurer Fitzpatrick convened the CARES Act working group on Thursday. Their agenda can be found here and included an update on testing capacity, unemployment funding, higher education capacity for virtual learning and more.

On Thursday, Department of Social Services Director Jennifer Tidball announced that beginning on June 15, former state representative David Wood would become the new Children’s Division Director.

Former state senator Chuck Graham passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on Tuesday. Sen. Graham was an outspoken advocate for disability issues and served in the House from 1996-2005 and then served one term in the state senate.

 

New (5/13)- Preparedness and planning for child care programs guide

Download the Preparedness and Planning for Child Care Programs Guide here.

This guide will help programs assess their ability to reopen during the first phase of local and state governments lifting stay-at-home orders. During this stressful and unprecedented time, this guide is meant to provide a roadmap for child care programs as you work to make critical decisions. No single strategy is going to support the public health needs of the workforce, children and families. Instead, several practices need to be put in place that take the unique aspects of your program into consideration. It is our hope that this guide will be helpful as it brings together information from state and local health departments, state licensing departments, Caring for Our Children standards, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and the American Academy of Pediatrics into one document.

 

This google drive link will also take you to the Guide, the recorded webinar from 5/14/2020,  as well as a few other resources.

Resources from Kids Win Missouri- updated 4/24/20

Kids Win Missouri and our partners have worked to create to resource handouts that help to curate some of the information available about supports for child care providers and programs, families, and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Feel free to share widely! We’ll be updated as more critical information becomes available.

 

Resources for Child Care Businesses

Resources for Individuals and Families

New Updates

  • On May 15, The US House of Representatives passed HR 6800, the “HEROES Act.” by a largely partisan vote of 208-199.
    • A summary of the provisions can be found here.
    • Specifically related to children, the First Five Years Fund has created this resource. The bill includes:
      • $7 billion for CCDBG
      • $500 billion in state assistance, $375 billion in local government assistance
      • $200 billion for hazard pay grants
      • Extends pandemic unemployment through January 31, 2021
      • Another round of direct rebate payments
      • $10 billion for SNAP
      • Student loan forgiveness expansion
    • The Senate is expected to begin negotiations by possibly forming and releasing their version of a “Phase 4” in June. At this point, it’s unlikely an agreement by the House and Senate would be reached prior to mid-June.
    • Our partner at Empower Missouri has created this page to take action and encourage Congress’ passage to help families and children

Previous Updates

“Phase 3.5” Passes Congress

    • Congress reached a compromise and passed HR 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday and the House on Thursday; President Trump will likely sign the bill into law today (4/24).
      • $484 billion package overview from Roll Call
        • $310 billion for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
        • $75 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
        • $50 billion for the small business economic injury disaster loans
        • $25 billion for national testing
      • US Treasury Department issued guidance on the $150 billion in state aid included in the CARES Act, saying that the funds could only be used to cover costs that are:
        • Necessary expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
          • May not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenues. Revenue replacement is not a permissible use of Fund payments.
        • Not accounted for in the budget most recently approved prior to the effective date of the CARES Act.
        • Incurred between March and December of 2020.

“Phase 3:” Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

Missouri General Assembly:

  • Budget
    • This week, Governor Parson had a conference call with superintendents from across the state to inform them that tough decisions would need to be made for the remainder of this fiscal year and would impact all districts. Additional withholds may come from the transportation budgets and/or the foundation formula. An announcement on the withholds could come as early as today (Friday, May 22).
    • On that same call, Governor Parson indicated that the FY 2021 budget likely needs to be approximately $1.2 billion less than his initial budget request. While very early in the process, the legislature’s approved cuts to the initial January-proposed budget equate to approximately $700 million from the state’s traditional revenue sources (the legislature’s budget includes funding for some items, pending additional state fiscal relief from the federal government. An additional $500 million in funding may be withheld in the early part of FY 2021, which is set to begin on July 1.
    • The FY 2021 budget was agreed to on Friday, May 8. You can find budget background information here.
    • Highlights around children’s issues include:
      • Full funding for the K-12 education foundation formula
      • K-12 Transportation funding core was cut $7 million with a $4.9 million restoration in the NDI for a net decrease of approximately $2 million. Total funding for FY 2021 is $105.3 million.
      • Preschool Development Grant funds are included ($11.2M).
      • Quality Assurance Report core cut ($200,000) but program will continue through Preschool Development Grant activities and a small core funding
      • Flat funding for Parents as Teachers at $21M.
      • Missouri Preschool Program funding was reduced by $875,283.
      • Early Literacy Program New Decision Item of $250,000.
      • Higher education institutions received a 10% core cut, but funds were appropriated as a new decision item based on the potential that the 6.2% FMAP increase is extended.
      • Flat funding for the Children’s Division Home Visiting Program plus a $907,000 increase in CARES Act funding.
      • New $3 million federal authority for Medicaid home visiting reimbursement.
      • Child Care
        • Acceptance of approximately $11 million in new federal funds (Pre-COVID 19).
        • Acceptance of approximately $66.5 million in CARES Act (COVID-19) funds.
        • Decrease of approximately $20 million in TANF funds.
        • Total budget of: $273 million
          • After removing 1-time stimulus funds, this line saw approximately a $9 million reduction in spending.
        • $3 million increase in foster care children’s account due to increased children in CD care.
        • $10.1 million for Family First Prevention Services’ Act infrastructure transition funding

FY2020 Missouri Budget

Through close of business on Wednesday, May 20, year to date revenues have declined by 8.61% ($737 million). Isolating May revenues, year to date revenues, revenues have declined 45% ($249 million). The state’s fiscal year ends June 30. Between the economic impacts of COVID-19 and moving tax-day to July 15, it’s difficult to make an accurate comparison regarding this year’s revenues to last year’s at this time.

New Updates

  • On May 19, DSS sent this update to child care subsidy providers regarding an update on April, May, June payments
  • Child Care Subsidy providers are required to sign a new 3-year contract to renew with the state. The contract needs to be signed and returned by June 30. The contract can be found here and the checklist is available here. Policy changes include:
    • not requiring providers to use the electronic time and attendance program for their private-pay children;
    • allowing but not requiring adoptive parents to pay a co-pay; and
    • updated disclosures.
  • On May 21, the Office of Head Start issued updated guidance for utilization and distribution of CARES Act funding
  • The Clark-Fox Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis published this op-ed around the fragility of our child care infrastructure during and coming out of the pandemic on May 20
  • On May 20, the St. Louis National Public Radio’s On The Air show aired this segment on how child care is navigating social distancing guidelines
  • On May 14, the Office of Child Care issued an updated Form 696 for state CCDF administrators to use

Previous Updates

Missouri

  • Child Care Licensing
  • Missouri Child Care Subsidy
  • Preschool Development Grant
    • The federal government approved the strategic plan that was part of Missouri’s Preschool Development Grant B-5. The plan is going through final branding edits before public release.
  • Home Visiting
    • The Office of Administration’s “Bidboard” showed an addendum on the Home Visiting RFP (Solicitation #: RFPS30034902001544)
    • DESE has provided this guidance to continue delivering Parents as Teachers services.

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Kids Win Missouri Activities:

  • Kids Win Missouri sent this letter to Governor Parson, urging action on policies relating to child care, health care, SNAP, and WIC. Missouri is not maximizing all the flexibility allowed by federal law.
  • Kids Win Missouri submitted this letter to budget writers, suggesting legislative language on the FY2020 supplemental budget.
  • An additional 2.43 million Americans filed for first-time traditional unemployment last week. These numbers do not include those applying for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which included an additional 841,995 first time claims. The Dept. of Labor indicates the seasonally adjusted uninsured rate for the week ending May 9 was 17.2%, an increase of 1.7% from the previous week.
  • In Missouri, individuals filed another 26,029 first-time claims last week. It is the fifth-straight week of declining first-time applicants. However, in the last 9 weeks, 564,000 first-time claims have been filed, more than three times the total number received for all of 2019.
  • The Congressional Budget Office released updated interim economic projections for 2020 and 2021 on May 19. The CBO estimates GDP will decline by 11% in the second quarter (April-June).

New Updates

Previous Updates

Missouri

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New Updates

Previous Updates

Missouri

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New Updates:

Previous Updates

Missouri

  • With the State Board of Education voting on March 12 to grant exemptions to the school start date law, DESE will be creating an online submission form for districts in the coming days and weeks.
  • On May 4, DESE released this memo to school districts regarding claiming hours for summer school
  • On April 30, DESE posted an update that they are submitting final paperwork for districts to begin receiving the $208 million in funding for pandemic-related expenses.
  • On April 23, DESE released an administrative memo on how schools can best develop summer school plans.
  • On April 21, DESE released this administrative memo around expenditure restrictions. For transportation, districts will see the majority of the adjustment in their May and June payments. For the foundation formula, the SAT payment for prior year corrections will be paid out at $6,291 instead of the full SAT of $6,308.
  • On April 23, DESE received a letter from the US Dept. of Education regarding the CARES Act funding. DESE is developing an application process and can be used for funds incurred by an LEA on or after March 13, 2020.
  • DESE has published this website as guidance for school districts. This website includes updates on special education, First Steps, use of buses, viritual education food and nutrition and more.
  • Governor Parson announced on April 9 that all schools would be closed through the end of the school year. DESE along with school superintendents recommended the closures.
  • On April 9, DESE issued initial guidance to schools on funding becoming available through the CARES Act. Also, DESE released this administrative memo on waiving of other statutes regarding screening for dyslexia, teacher contracts, and more. Lastly, DESE released this administrative memo sharing with schools that a waiver was approved around fund flexibility and professional development.
  • Missouri School Boards’ Association has created a resource list for school districts
  • MOREnet is ensuring school districts are aware they have access to remote learning opportunities including: Zoom, magazines, eBooks, and online practice tests.
  • DESE shared a PowerPoint with school leaders on April 1 as part of a webinar and was followed-up with an email. The document includes an update on the CARES Act, information on statutory waivers, food and nutrition updates, childcare for health professionals, school closure, and more
  • On March 27, an administrative memo was released by DESE on calendaring and attendance, and notifying districts of possible future withholding.
  • MOREnet is ensuring school districts are aware they have access to remote learning opportunities including: Zoom, magazines, eBooks, and online practice tests.

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