COVID-19 Local Response Principles: Learn and Grow


  • Michael Bartlett
December 23, 2020 - (3 min read)

NLC is committed to providing cities, towns and villages with the tools they need to Respond, Recover and Rebuild, and has released ten new policy briefs meant to provide clear, actionable steps that municipal leaders can take to respond to the impact of COVID-19 in their communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a devastating impact on children and youth; one of the greatest threats to their current and future well-being is the loss of opportunities to learn and grow. Municipal leaders can respond to this crisis by working with school districts and community partners to ensure that all children and youth in cities, towns and villages have uninterrupted access to education and supports for learning and development.

The long-term vitality of families and communities is at stake. Recent research has estimated that learning loss due to COVID-19 will result in an average decline of $61,000 to $82,000 in lifetime wages for today’s K-12 students for a total of $110 Billion in lost lifetime wages across the U.S. Economy. These impacts are also felt by postsecondary students. A December 2020 survey of college students found that half of all enrolled college students in America think it is likely or very likely that COVID-19 will negatively impact their ability to complete their degree or credential. Without intervention, this will translate into lost opportunities for cities, employers, and families.

City leaders play a key role in coordinating community resources and partners towards ensuring that the young people in our nation’s cities, towns and villages are supported as we continue to respond, and ultimately recover, from this pandemic.  To support municipal leadership in this effort, NLC’s recent COVID-19 Response Principles brief on, Ensuring That All Children and Youth Have High-Quality Opportunities to Learn and Grow, provides five key strategies for cities, along with city examples and links to related resources that can help you make a difference in your community. Cities, towns, and villages can:

  1. Engage community organizations and afterschool programs to provide the supports children and youth need for learning and development.
  2. Work with partners to increase internet access and digital literacy for online learners and their families.
  3. Ensure equitable access to resources and opportunities for all children and youth in your community.
  4. Consider partnering with local businesses and community organizations to increase access to internships and service opportunities for youth and young adults.
  5. Address the challenges and concerns of postsecondary learners in your community.

NLC is committed to supporting and partnering with your community as we move into 2021 and beyond.

Learn More

View and download the ten COVID-19 Local Response Briefs to better help your communities.

About the Author

Michael Bartlett

About the Author

Michael Bartlett is the Program Director, Postsecondary and Workforce Success at the National League of Cities.