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DEBATE: Open Schools Act


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Debate begins for 72 hours. 

Section 1: Generally defines a school as being "closed" as when instruction is not being offered on an in-person basis (regardless of the presence or absence of any virtual options).
Section 2: Declares the view of the Congress that the failure of a public school system to, on an ongoing basis, provide for in-person schooling and not provide childcare in lieu of that in any jurisdiction where the schools are taxpayer-funded and where federal funding is used is engaging in a "taking" by way of imposing a cost on citizens for services not being rendered.
Section 3: Requires that public school districts in receipt of federal funding which engage in an "extended closure not due to an imminent natural or man-made disaster", defined as a disruption resulting in the loss of five or more regularly-scheduled school days out of a series of not more than twelve consecutive calendar days, either provide or arrange for childcare services to parents at no cost to the parents until "normal operations" can resume.  Exceptions are provided for active federal states of emergency (which can extend the period to up to 30 days in general).  Requires school districts experiencing a "sustained disruption" to pursue "all practical options" to resume in-person schooling and permits federal courts to issue orders forcing them to do so (e.g. renting hotel conference center space).
Section 4: Requires that school districts which limit students to less-than-daily attendance on a persistent basis (defined here as three or more consecutive weeks with less than five days of classes scheduled for students, not counting regularly-scheduled holidays, breaks, and teacher workdays/professional development days) provide a no-cost daycare/supervision option on non-school days.
Section 5: Requires that states receiving federal funding for primary and secondary education require that at least 80% of the required hours/days be offered in-person.  Allows waivers for "catastrophic disasters" (which are generally required to have resulted in severe physical damage to the physical plant of the affected school(s)).
Section 6: Sets up a federal fund to cover up to 50% of the net costs of administering Section 2 and Section 3 (i.e. "What the district is paying above and beyond what it would cost to have the kids in class).  $1 billion per year is provided.

Christopher Drake

Republican, NY-2

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

Former Chief Administrator - Rounds 4 & 5, Evil Arch-Conservative, Frequent Republican Player


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