Arkansas Education Association calls for virtual start to school year


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Education Association is calling for a virtual start to the 2020-21 school year.

Carol Fleming, AEA president, asked state lawmakers on Monday to join the group in its call to start the year with virtual-only instruction.

“While we agree in-person education is the best thing for students, moving kids and educators in and out of school based on isolation and quarantine protocols will be too risky and too disruptive to the teaching and learning environment,” Fleming said. “Let’s work together to maximize the next two weeks to ensure that we keep students and educators safe, and prepare for a new way to deliver education and support until we can get this virus under control.” 

Fleming, who made her remarks before the Education Caucus of the Arkansas General Assembly, shared a set of “principles and expectations” that “must be met to keep students, educators and our communities safe once conditions allow for a return to in-person learning.”

In a section of the document titled ‘Core Principles,’ it states:

“Arkansas still has widespread community transmission of this deadly virus. We also know that the testing capacity and turnaround time on results has been too low and too slow to be an effective mitigation strategy. In addition, we have a positivity rate that is far too high. We have also learned that virus transmission increases in places where people are together in close proximity for prolonged amounts of time.”

Students are set to return to in-person classes in Arkansas the week of August 24.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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