Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Twenty-one states report 10% or more Covid-19 increase… 1 million people have cast ballots early… Maryland man who threw house party gets a year in jail.
The union representing New York City’s school principals is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to cede control of the education department for the duration of the public health crisis, saying they have lost confidence in his plan to reopen schools. The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents more than 6,400 city school leaders, unanimously passed a vote of “no confidence” against de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranzato on Sunday. "Quite simply, we believe the city and [Department of Education] need help from the State Education Department, and we hope that the mayor soon realizes why this is necessary,” CSA President Mark Cannizzaro said in a statement. Schools leaders have complained that they do not have enough teachers for both remote and in-person learning. The pushback comes as many students are expected to report back to classrooms this week, while some will remain at home doing remote learning. The city’s 1.1 million students have already started the school year remotely and the mayor has twice delayed the start of in-person classes. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to the vote Monday, saying officials will monitor the situation as schools reopen with testing and act accordingly, but that the state will not take over city schools. For its part, the city Department of Education defended itself, with a spokesperson saying, “For the past six months, we’ve worked with our labor partners to navigate completely uncharted waters and accomplish our shared goal of serving students this fall.”, [NPR, New York Times, WABC-TV]
DON’T MISS: A thought provoking account of one Baltimore seventh grader’s experience with remote learning. [ProPublica]
COVID-19 SURGE | Almost half of states reported a more than 10% increase in coronavirus cases compared to the week before, raising health experts’ concern about a potential surge of illnesses in the fall and winter. Cases are on the rise in 21 states, most of them in the West, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. States that have seen an increase include: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts a “huge surge” in infections expected to take off in October and grow through the end of the year, with the potential to jump from 785 deaths a day to 3,000 daily deaths by December. [CNN]
HURRICANE AFTERMATH | Nonprofits in Louisiana say they are struggling to meet the needs of residents who were displaced from their homes by Hurricane Laura. Storm damage assessments for homes and businesses are still pending, but analysts have projected insured damages could cost between $8 billion to $12 billion and uninsured losses billions more. Yet donations to United Way in the aftermath of the storm are only 75% of what the organization raised during the same period after Hurricane Rita. Meanwhile, the Red Cross continued to provide emergency lodging to more than 15,900 people last week. [The Advocate, Red Cross]
LOTS OF EARLY VOTING | Close to 1 million people have voted early in the 2020 presidential election, far more than the 9,525 ballots cast at this point in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, states have changed election laws to make it easier to request an absentee ballot or to vote in-person before Election Day. According to an analysis of 25 states where early voting data is available, Virginia leads the way thus far with the most votes cast early—200,277 people have voted at early voting sites across the state and another 83,822 people have voted by mail. [U.S. Election Project]
HOUSE PARTY JAIL TIME | A Maryland man who threw two parties at his home in March was sentenced to a year in jail after he was convicted of violating Gov. Larry Hogan’s coronavirus order limiting large gatherings. The second time police were called to Shawn Marshall Myers’ Hughesville home they found more than 50 people gathered around a bonfire. At the time, gatherings of more than 10 people were banned. A judge convicted Myers of two counts of failure to comply with the governor’s emergency order. In addition to jail time, he also received a $5,000 fine and three years probation. “He was given a warning,” Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington said. “It’s not like the police just swooped in there and said you’re going to jail.” [WRC-TV, WTTG-TV]
Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.