Amidst numerous questions on what “practicable” means in both the CARES Act and Executive Order 7R, and as to what costs of bus contractors Districts should continue to pay, Legal Director for the State Department of Education released a FAQ [https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Digest/2019-20/FAQ-Executive-Order-7R-Funding-Employees-and-Contractors.pdf?la=en] with 18 different questions and answers, ranging from what is the legal effect of Executive Order 7R, to what costs of a transportation provider should be paid while not driving. The Guidance strongly encourages Districts to continue to pay their contractors, but stops short of mandating such in all cases. While the FAQ still leaves many questions unanswered, it certainly provides some guidance as to what costs of a transportation company should be paid and the types of documentation that should be requested.
As to employees, it stops short of addressing some of the harder questions regarding which employees to continue to pay (such as daily substitutes, other per diem employees, tutor, etc.). It makes clear districts can chose not to pay such individuals if it can justify doing so based upon anticipated cost incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or based upon lost revenues, for example, in a food service program.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our education law attorneys.