Research / Education

Policy Analysis | December 2020

Assessing Learning Loss Risk During COVID-19 and Beyond

Cody Allen

By early April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, every state in the SLC region had ordered or recommended schools be closed to in-person learning and developed a remote learning structure.1 With the ongoing public health emergency continuing to affect K-12 students, states are dealing with "learning loss" concerns as students fall behind due to interrupted schedules, the inability of families to provide support, lack of educational support, unproductive remote learning systems and an inability to connect with teachers and fellow students. Nationally, in November 2020, it was reported that more than 60 percent of students attended school in districts offering some form of in-person learning.2 However, as of December 9, 2020, only a reported 32.5 percent of K‑12 students participated in full-time in-person learning, while 50.8 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively, were enrolled in fully remote or hybrid learning plans, a sizeable decrease in traditional in-person learning.3

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Webinar | October 2020

Project-Based Learning: A Possible Solution to the Concerns of the COVID Classroom

Cody Allen

Across the region, policymakers at both the state and local level have worked to develop reopening and operating plans for K-12 schools that address health and safety concerns. While there are a variety of plans in place, many have focused on remote or hybrid learning schedules which have led to concerns surrounding student engagement and achievement. One possible solution is project-based learning, an active or inquiry-based learning method that encourages students to examine complex challenges or problems via intradisciplinary methods. By encouraging students to actively engage in real-world projects, this learning method may increase student engagement and reduce absenteeism – a critical concern when students are missing synchronous face-to-face interactions with educators. This program examines project-based learning and how it may increase student engagement in the current non-traditional academic environment.


Leslie Eaves, Program Director, Project-Based Learning, Southern Regional Education Board, Georgia

Webinar | July 2020

School-Based Health Centers: Ensuring Student Access to Care – During the Pandemic and Beyond

Cody Allen

SLC Education Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Member: Senator Greg Hembree, South Carolina

Primary care clinics, operating on elementary and secondary school campuses, known as school-based health centers (SBHCs), provide students with access to vital preventative and early interventional health resources. In addition to primary care, the panoply of services a SBHC can provide includes dental care, behavioral and mental health counseling, and health and nutrition counseling. Typically funded by a combination of federal, state and local grants, Medicaid or private insurance, as well as private sector grants, SBHCs serve as cost-effective resources for schools and communities. By providing healthcare access to children in rural and low-income areas, SBHCs may reduce school absences, boost academic success, reduce healthcare costs for families, and improve student physical and mental health. This program demonstrates how SBHCs improve student outcomes and play an important role in both schools and communities. Discussions also will include how the ongoing pandemic likely will influence school-based care – such as the shift to telehealth – and what innovations will become integral to SBHCs beyond this crisis.


Suzanne Mackey, MPH, Policy Director, School-Based Health Alliance, Washington, D.C.
Katy Stinchfield, MS, LPC, Senior Program Manager, School-Based Health Alliance, Washington, D.C.

Acting Chair

Greg Hembree
South Carolina

Past Chair
Representative Kathryn Swan

Kathryn Swan


Cody Allen

Cody Allen
Policy Analyst

In most states, education is the single largest expenditure and often the top priority for lawmakers and their constituents. The SLC Education Committee focuses on educational systems at all levels and examines how Southern states are ensuring their students are properly prepared for college entry and ready to compete in the increasingly global economy. Equally, the committee considers the importance of developing greater technical skills in state workforces, preparation and retainment of effective teachers, the incorporation of new technologies and methodologies in the educational field, and the impact of federal initiatives on state and local educational systems.

More SLC Research into Education

Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Policy Analysis | April 2019

School Counselor Legislation in the South

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Policy Analysis | August 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Comparative Data Reports | July 2017

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Medicaid

SLC Regional Resource | June 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing

Policy Analysis | August 2016

Southern High School Graduation Rates

SLC Regional Resource | February 2016

Special Education School Vouchers: A Look at Southern States

Policy Analysis | February 2016

Higher Education Funding

SLC Regional Resource | November 2015

Student Assessments in Southern States: Recent Developments

Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | May 2015

Governing Entities for Higher Education

SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Policy Analysis | October 2014

Pre-K Quality Standards in the South

Policy Analysis | July 2014

In-State Tuition for Veterans

Policy Analysis | December 2013

Southern States' Early Graduation Policies

Policy Analysis | May 2013

The Higher Education Disconnect

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Webinar | October 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Policy Analysis | June 2012

The Stafford Loan Crisis in Perspective

Policy Analysis | April 2012

Tuition Deregulation in Higher Education

Policy Analysis | February 2012

NCLB Waivers, Part Three

Policy Analysis | October 2011

NCLB Waivers, Part Two

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Higher Education Performance and Accountability

Policy Analysis | August 2011

Summer Heat and Fall Sports

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Race to the Top Round 3

SLC Issue Alert | June 2011

NCLB Update: The Waiver Option

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Post-secondary Access and Affordability

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Schools and Natural Disasters

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Changes in Teaching as a Profession

Policy Analysis | April 2011

School Choice and Charter Schools

Policy Analysis | March 2011

School Budgets Feeling the Pinch

Policy Analysis | March 2011

Changes to HOPE Scholarships

SLC Regional Resource | March 2011

State Section 529 Plans

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Retention and Completion Rates of College Freshmen

SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

Comparative Data Reports | November 2009

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Revenue

Policy Analysis | November 2009

Southern States' Student Loan Default Rates

SLC Issue Alert | December 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

SLC Regional Resource | January 2008

Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

Policy Analysis | December 2007

School Air Quality Policies

Comparative Data Reports | November 2007

Adult Correctional Systems, Education, Medicaid and Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | April 2006

Farm to School

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

SLC Special Series Report | April 2003

Filling In the Gaps: Solving Teacher Shortages

SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

SLC Special Series Report | January 1999

Language Diversity in Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge