Arizona School Board Association asks for more local power in reopening plan

Jul 21, 2020, 4:13 PM | Updated: 9:44 pm
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)...
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

PHOENIX — The Arizona School Board Association sent a letter Monday to Gov. Doug Ducey asking for more guidance at local levels when it comes to the state’s plan to reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

The board asked Ducey and public health leaders for consideration in three areas when schools return to in-person learning.

The first is to delegate reopening dates on a county-by-county basis since counties with lesser populations aren’t being hit as hard by COVID-19.

The school board would like for county health officials to be allowed to make the decision to reopen schools if Centers for Disease Control and Prevention phase-specific thresholds for phase 2 have been met.

Those thresholds include a downward trajectory of documented cases and positive test percentage for at least 28 days.

Currently, in-person learning at all Arizona schools can resume Aug. 17.

“We have asked the governor to establish a framework that would allow schools to open up in person using metrics approved by public health officials so that various areas of the state could open up schools without having to wait for every area in the state,” Chris Kotterman, director of governmental relations for ASBA, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

The second suggestion calls for districts to have the ability to determine proper social distancing techniques that are based on available facilities.

The school board is concerned that some districts — especially those in underserved areas — won’t be able to limit the number of students on campus.

The suggestion stems from a June 24 executive order that requires districts to have an in-person learning option if they offer distance learning.

“In order to maintain any sort of safe environment with social distancing, districts and charters have to be able to control how many students are on their campuses,” Kotterman said.

The final consideration is for specific guidance on how schools should handle their response to a positive COVID-19 test within the immediate community.

Kotterman said the school board is looking for guidance from public health officials on what would be best practices.

“Unlike a private employer, we can’t tell students to stay home,” Kotterman said. “We need some guidance on what we should do to maintain good practices and not let this spread across a school system.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/John Locher)...

Peoria joins other Valley cities in implementing first stage of drought management plan

Peoria on Wednesday became the latest Valley city to announce implementation of the first stage of its drought management plan.
13 hours ago
(Instagram Photos)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix Mexican restaurant Ladera Taverna closing, will reopen as The Vig

Ladera Taverna y Cocina is saying adios this weekend after six years in Phoenix’s Sunnyslope neighborhood and will be converted into another location of The Vig.
13 hours ago
(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

MCAO fires prosecutor who falsely charged protest suspects

The longtime Maricopa County Attorney's Office prosecutor whose charges against people arrested at a 2020 protest came under intense scrutiny was officially fired this week.
13 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Police investigate over-the-counter laxative tampering incident at Scottsdale Walmart

Police said they are investigating a drug tampering incident involving over-the-counter laxatives sold at a Scottsdale Walmart.
13 hours ago
phoenix landscape skyline...
Associated Press

Maricopa County near top in white, Black, Hispanic population growth

Metro Phoenix's Maricopa County had among the biggest population growth in white, Black and Hispanic residents last year, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
13 hours ago
Myron Scott (Courtesy Photo)...

Missing Valley man found safe; Silver Alert canceled

A Phoenix man missing for weeks was found safe Wednesday, said authorities, who canceled a Silver Alert.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Arizona School Board Association asks for more local power in reopening plan