The public administration utilizes policy analysis to enable activists and civil servants to evaluate and examine available options for implementing the objectives of elected officials and laws. Policy analysis is further utilized in large organizations’ administration with complicated policies. According to experts, it is a process whereby elected officials determine which of the different policies presented will attain a certain set of objectives of the correlations between the goals and the policies (Weimer & Vining, 2017). Two categories of policy analysis exist the probe of existing policy and the analysis of new policy. Thus, policy analysis is an essential process that seeks to provide solutions for both federal and state issues.
What is the problem and is it a State or Federal Level Problem?
One of the most important bills presented in Congress during the COVID-19 period concerns the return of students to class. The bill expresses “the sense of Congress that schools should safely reopen for in-person instruction as soon as possible” (“Govinfo,” 2021). In this case, the problem was that students were not able to attend school in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue is at the state level since most schools were closed and children were forced to continue their studies at home. One of the measures that promoted this issue was concerned with social distancing. Allowing students to attend classes in person would increase the rate of spread of the coronavirus. As a result, most schools were closed, and other challenges relating to learning at home arose. One such problem was that learners were not able to access enough resources to effectively conduct their studies.
A stakeholder is an individual or an organization that is interested in an entity such as a school. There are numerous parties interested in school reopening, especially after a long break due to the pandemic. Since the bill is related to the health of school-going children, stakeholders include local business leaders, community members, families, parents, students, staff members, teachers, and administrators. Other parties invested in the success and welfare of schools include elected officials such as state representatives, city councilors, and board members. Advocacy groups, cultural institutions, and local businesses are examples of collective entities that have an interest in the welfare of students.
The Policy Environment
When it comes to policy analysis, it is important to consider every aspect that surrounds that bill. Experts define the policy environment as the elements impacting the performance of a program that is past the management of policymakers (Weimer & Vining, 2017). The proposed bill, in this case, advocates for schools reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most significant factor affecting the proposed law is how to control the spread of the virus. Despite scientists stating that students are mostly immune to the disease, there is sufficient evidence that shows that they can become carriers of the virus (Daniel, 2020). To ensure that they do not contract the illness, additional measures must be in place. For instance, due to social distancing, fewer students would be accommodated in one class. In addition to this, other resources such as hand sanitizers and water points have to be placed in strategic places in schools. All these are additional inputs that would cost a lot of money to ensure the safety of students. As such, national program managers are hindered from implementing such a law because these factors are beyond their control.
Those Who Will Benefit and Those Who Will Pay the Cost
With the reopening of schools, there are those individuals who stand to benefit, while others pay the cost. Learners are unable to concentrate effectively while conducting studies from home compared to when they attend school. Therefore, the first people who will benefit from the bill are students since they would be able to access more learning resources. The second group of individuals who will benefit is the teachers. With the global pandemic forcing children to learn from home, instructors are finding it more challenging to monitor students’ assignments. When schools reopen, it would be much easier to supervise children. Parents are the third group that would benefit from the law because they would have an easier time performing their duties at home. On the other hand, the schools will pay the cost because some states are not involved in school management. In other situations, a shareholder would contribute to the additional expenses incurred by schools.
Proposed Actions by the Legislation
There are numerous actions that the legislation proposes for this bill to be successfully implemented. One of the actions is that schools should put in place measures that will ensure students’ safety. For instance, schools must install ventilators to ensure that the classroom is well aerated. Secondly, schools must consider outdoor learning for special children who might be affected by ventilators. The legislation further proposes that teachers closely monitor students to ensure they do not contract the illness. Such equipment as digital thermometers must be available in class to test whether a child has a high fever. Additionally, school administrations must take measures to expand the use of technology in the learning process. To mitigate these new developments, Congress has offered over 70 billion dollars to ensure that the transmission to in-person learning occurs (“Govinfo,” 2021). Furthermore, Congress has undertaken scientific measures to support schools’ reopening.
Similar Legislations of the Past and How they were Addressed
In the past, there has been legislation passed by Congress to protect its people. For instance, the influenza A pandemic forced lawmakers to create laws that restricted movement and contact with individuals. Additionally, it prevented children from going to school, and since it happened earlier, technology was not a reliable mode of learning. As a result, little to no learning took place. Once influenza and the flu started subsiding, Congress passed a bill that would ensure that schools reopened and that children could attend them without being impacted. Additionally, schools were supposed to adopt new measures that protected students and teachers. The outcomes were different because the pandemic, in this case, affected both the elderly and the young in the same measure. School reopening resulted in more casualties contracting the disease, thereby making the management of the illness difficult. Nevertheless, due to intensive scientific research, the government controlled the situation and learning returned to its normal levels.
My Assumptions of Expected Outcomes
Most people are still skeptical concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially to children. My assumption of the expected outcomes if the bill passes is that more people will be affected by the virus, particularly in areas where there are fewer resources to manage it. Congress should ensure that every school meets the standards that can protect both teachers and students. I believe that the financial support provided by congress may be mismanaged and, as a result, some schools affected by the pandemic may not be able to control it. In this case, these students may act as vessels for spreading the virus, especially to the elderly, who are the most affected. Therefore, the money allocated to contain the virus should be managed carefully to ensure that every educational institution installs every piece of equipment as proposed by the Center for Disease Control. Furthermore, I believe that instructors may find it difficult to control interaction among children. As a result, the outcomes might be severe and the world may begin experiencing new pandemic outbreaks.
Evaluation of Expected Outcomes
After congress has placed measures to control the pandemic and the reopening of schools, it is important to determine the methods of evaluating the outcomes. Policymakers can create programs prompt experts to inspect different educational institutions. These individuals would perform quality tests on machines and different technologies that prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, the government officials would conduct assessments on how students are seated in classrooms. The legislation should set a specific duration to find out whether there is an increase in the level of the pandemic when schools reopen. If the number of affected people increases, that would mean that the methods are not effective. In this case, the legislation should develop other schemes that would make sure that the bill is effective.
Policy analysis is an essential process of evaluating a proposed bill to discover its efficiency. The bill concerning school reopening is a state problem meant to remedy the pandemic situation. Stakeholders are those individuals invested in this sector and include parents, teachers, and state institutions. The policy environment for this bill includes such elements as being unable to control the cost of reopening schools. Additionally, the world has not been able to effectively handle the pandemic. Individuals that would benefit from this bill are parents, learners, and instructors. To remedy these circumstances, the legislation’s action was to provide financial support to affected educational institutions. Thus, policy analysis is a vital factor that enables an individual to discover more about different laws.
Daniel, S. J. (2020). Education and the COVID-19 pandemic. PROSPECTS, 49(1-2), 91-96.
Govinfo. (2021). Web.
Weimer, D. L., & Vining, A. R. (2017). Policy analysis: Concepts and practice.