KEA Urges Schools to Begin Academic Year Online

With many school districts in the state scheduled to reopen this month, the Kentucky Education Association has made its first public statement regarding the safe return to school and is calling on school superintendents to not begin the school year with in-person classes.

The KEA issued a statement Friday saying in-person instruction should not resume until the county’s positivity rate and the statewide positivity rate falls below four-percent and stays there for a minimum of 21 days based on a 7-day rolling average. The state hasn’t released county-by-county positivity rates. Thursday’s statewide positivity rate was 5.5-percent and hasn’t been below 4-percent since July 14.

The KEA also said school districts must consider other factors unique to their own communities, such as the infection rate among school-aged children and whether the Department of Public Health supports their reopening plan.

The KEA, which openly supported the candidacy of Andy Beshear for governor last year, praised him for what they called “swift and decisive recommendations” in closing schools in the spring to control the spread of COVID-19.

The teacher’s union went on to say that every educator that can perform his or her duties from home should be encouraged to do so and that only the most essential operations should occur in person. They said doing anything else is “simply irresponsible.”

The KEA said making the decision to go strictly to virtual instruction now allows educators to plan and develop meaningful online instruction and gives parents the time they need to prepare.

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