Students faced barriers as Wisconsin school buildings shuttered last spring | Local Education

Of the districts that shifted to online-only learning at the end of the 2019-20 school year, 85{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} provided training to staff on how to effectively conduct distance learning digitally and 43{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} purchased software for staff to conduct online learning.

Three out of four districts that shifted to online-only learning purchased hot spots for students to access wireless internet and 53{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} purchased laptops and other devices such as tablets to provide one-to-one learning for students online.

In a 4-3 decision in May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Evers’ statewide stay-at-home order. The order left Evers’ order in place for schools until it expired. In the fall the decision to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year was left up to local governments as the issue continues to be litigated.

In September, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended restrictions, put in place by Public Health Madison and Dane County, that barred most Dane County students from attending school in person as the court’s conservative-backed majority agreed to hear legal challenges filed against the order. The court’s 4-3 ruling left the decision to reopen to in-person learning up to the school districts across the state.

Eighty-two percent of public districts across the state reported zero layoffs in connection with closures at the end of the 2019-20 school year, but 6{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} reported layoffs of six to 20 employees, 6{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} reported layoffs of more than 20 employees, and 5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} reported layoffs of one to five employees.

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