It's a stunning reality: More than 85 percent of America's public school students won't be returning to their classrooms at all this academic year, a number that will surely reach close to 100 percent soon as the fight against coronavirus wears on.

Massachusetts is the fifth state to join the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority created through the Every Student Succeeds Act, which allows states to experiment with new forms of testing.

Schools can use this pot of $13.5 billion in CARES Act money for a variety of purposes to help them deal with the fallout of the coronavirus.

States can leverage testing contracts and money they can set aside under the law to help students affected by the coronavirus, says an analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education.

States have made progress in expanding access to high-quality pre-K, but budget cuts due to the pandemic could reverse that, the National Institute for Early Education Research warns.

The coronavirus has wrecked several rites of passage for the class of 2020. But when it comes to graduation ceremonies, one Twitter user had an idea he said would give students "great comfort."

As Montana's governor pursues a plan to gradually reopen the state, the state education department is relying in part on public opinion to decide whether to reopen schools this year.

New White House guidelines on "reopening the country" didn't increase confidence among education groups that schools would reopen any time soon. And questions remain about how to keep students safe when they return.

The new guidelines rely heavily on testing for the coronavirus; in their first phase, schools that are now closed would not reopen, but could resume operations in subsequent phases.

Coronavirus' financial wallop on schools will come sooner than predicted as unemployment hits record levels. Already, pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs may be in the offing in some districts before the start of the new school year.

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