After announcing $775 million in cuts to the state budget during his COVID-19 news conference on Tuesday, he was asked if students will return to school buildings in the fall. Included in the budget cuts for the fiscal year was more than $300 million to K-12 schools.
“Everyone would like to see schools back in August,” DeWine said.
According to the governor, the Ohio Department of Education has a group working on guidelines for the next school year. He said he’s also had discussions with superintendents on how to exist in a world were coronavirus remains part of our lives.
“Each school is kind of trying to figure out the configuration of their school building, how many of their students are picked up in schools buses. All these different things schools are looking at,” DeWine said.
“We have to see where we are with the virus, but my recommendation to schools is look at different options, come up with what is unique for you.”
One option DeWine has mentioned on multiple occasions is a hybrid of distance and in-person learning. It would involve students spending two days in the classroom and two days at home to spread out more students.
The governor and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton closed public, private and charter schools from March 16 to April 3 in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. They later extended the order through May 1, then through the remainder of the school year.
On Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics said schools should be ready to phase in reopenings and consider starting with reduced hours before returning in the fall. Schools should also be prepared for intermittent closures, the academy said.
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