PHOENIX — The start of school is just weeks away after Gov. Doug Ducey's announcement to hold off on ringing the bell until at least Aug. 17.
On Monday, Arizona school board leaders and medical professionals joined forces to send a message to Ducey. They are asking the governor to push back in-person classes to Oct. 1.
In a letter hand-delivered to the governor's office, both education and health care professionals are demanding Ducey to take these action items before students and teachers return to the classroom:
- Statewide closure of buildings and classrooms until October 1st.
- In October, school buildings and classrooms can re-open if COVID-19 data shows a reduction of risk and infection in our communities.
- In October, school buildings and classrooms can re-open if we meet agreed-upon safety protocols and requirements, as determined by the Center for Disease Control and the Arizona Department of Health.
- Fund distance learning the same as in-person instruction without the requirement to also provide face-to-face classes five days a week.
- Provide every school with 100% of their prior-year funding through the Enrollment Stability Grant, despite the COVID-19 specific related expenses we may incur.
- Wave the 180 instructional day requirement for the school year 2020-2021.
- Suspend the statewide standardized assessment, AzM2, for the school year 2020-2021 and allow districts to use local assessments.
- Extend the USDA school lunch program so schools can offer ‘to-go’ meals to students even when campuses are closed.
The governor's office provided this statement to 12 News:
"Our approach since this virus started has been to work with the education community. We’re listening and will be working with Superintendent Hoffman and other education leaders on how and when it’s best to safely re-open schools."