The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the lives of millions of schoolchildren and exacerbated existing educational inequities. Research projected that interrupted instruction would mean students would start the 2020-21 school year with smaller reading and math gains than they would in a typical school year, that unfinished learning would be greater during the 2020-21 winter than in previous years, and that only small improvements in learning opportunity gaps were to be expected between spring 2021 and 2022. As many students enter a fourth semester of interrupted instruction, state education policymakers are working overtime to implement solutions.

Although many state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have come via governors’ executive orders and state education agency guidance, this Policy Snapshot captures legislative examples from 17 states that address interrupted instruction. The legislation addresses one of seven themes:

  • Extended learning time and supports.
  • High dosage tutoring.
  • Literacy.
  • Special education.
  • Student and family decisions.
  • Student mental health.
  • Technology.

For more information and examples of state strategies that address interrupted instruction, see the following State Information Requests: 

 PUBLISHED: October 7, 2021




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