The State Board of Education has turned Gov. Kelly’s executive order to delay any school opening into a political issue. While COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high and continue to rise, delaying school would slow the spread of the virus. As the governor stated, decisions must be informed by public health expert — not politics.
People my age and older, remember that schools never began until after Labor Day. Students are required to have 1,116 hours of instruction each school year. The state date should not be an issue as students will still receive the required number of hours.
Some districts will have a configuration of virtual learning as well as face-to-face instruction. Professional development is needed to make these changes to ensure the safety of our students and continue learning whether be it in person or virtual. All districts need to prepare for these changes as COVID-19 does not care if you live in a rural or urban area, nor does it care about political affiliations.
Districts face another issue in that health risks are greater for some educators and other school employees than the children they serve. Adults over the age of 55 account for the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in the United States. In the United States, one third of teachers and administrators are 50 years or older.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kansas, and the reopening of our state is in question one only wonders if we had a Republican governor, would the state board have responded in the same way?
Theresa Grant, Salina