Today, a plea was made by MS State Representative, Tom Miles to push back the back-to-school date for students and teachers due to surging COVID-19 numbers in the state.
Posted below is what he had to say.
“With the significant spikes in Coronavirus cases over the last couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion on a school start date. We have had already over 5,000 new cases this week and numbers are continue to be on the rise. Our hospitals and ICU beds are full across the state. COVID might not affect you personally, but if you or a family member has a car accident, heart attack, or stroke, there may not be a bed available.
Tuesday night, I put a post on Facebook that yielded over 2700 comments with more steadily coming in. An overwhelming majority of parents and teachers who responded support our school start date to be pushed back until the first week of September after the Labor Day holiday.
The conversations I’ve had for the last two weeks with parents and teachers show me their fear of opening too soon is real. Many school districts are having conversations about the need to postpone starting school, but are afraid of making the wrong decision one way or the other. When it has been directed that districts can make this decision themselves, it leaves too many unanswered questions on how teachers will get paid or how it will affect their calendars and many other things.
I’m requesting that the State Board of Education take up this issue immediately to consider the health of our children and teachers and delay the start date until after the first of September.
This decision is the responsibility of the State Board. This action will give time for our school districts to make sure our teachers and parents are well versed on distance learning if we must go this route. It will give time for the case numbers to decline since more people seem to be wearing masks now and paying attention to social distancing. It will also give our hospitals time to open beds in the ICU.
If we do this as a State, all of our school districts will be on the same page. Everyone will have the same number of days in school. It is common sense.”