Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an update to his Public Health Emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, which waives some education requirements in the law and also suspends some laboratory requirements to speed the process of testing for Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“The pace of testing has to increase in Louisiana and this order will allow more laboratories in Louisiana to process COVID-19 tests, which is critical as our state fights the spread of this illness,” Edwards said in a release.
The changes to education in the latest proclamation apply to the 2019-2020 school year and address suspensions to testing administration, school and district accountability, teacher evaluation, student attendance, teacher work days and charter school application and enrollment.
Some of these suspensions will be effective only if the U.S. Dept. of Education grants a waiver of the relevant provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act at the request of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Edwards adds that the plan is still to open school later this year, but to request to waive the LEAP testing for students in the state.
This is the fourth update to the Governor’s Proclamation of a Public Health Emergency.
- March 11: Original declaration, restrictions
- March 13: Transportation, health care, administrative
- March 14: Restrictions on establishments, closures, legal deadlines
- March 19: Education, health care, administrative
Edwards also issued a proclamation on March 13 moving Louisiana’s elections.