Kentucky School Reopening Decisions Are About Get More Local

Sep 14, 2020

Local school districts in Kentucky will soon have more say - and more responsibility - when it comes to restarting in-person classes.

Credit Karyn Czar / WUKY

Gov. Andy Beshear says his administration won't be issuing any more formal recommendations regarding K-12 classes. Instead, schools will be responsible for submitting their COVID-19 data to a statewide dashboard and a report meant to track more long-term trends. It will then be up to individual districts to use that information when judging whether to shift back to virtual learning.

"This kind of reporting... makes that level of local control and decision-making possible," said state Board of Education chair Lu Young.

The state is recommending, however, that districts in counties that go red - those are places with average daily cases exceeding 25 per 100,000 residents - should shut down in-person classes and switch back to non-traditional instruction.

For the new system to work, the governor said it will require schools to be transparent, and for parents and guardians to report coronavirus positives in their children within 24 hours.

"I think the obligation is already there... but it makes it very clear that parents, if your child has tested positive for COVID, you got to tell the school," Beshear said.

The governor's recommendation that schools stick with virtual learning expires on September 28th.