The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced via Twitter that education leaders will finally reveal the state's strategy for the 2020-21 school year on July 30. Gov. Tim Walz is scheduled to join them.
On July 30, MDE and @GovTimWalz will share Minnesota’s strategy to educate students and keep communities healthy during the 2020-21 school year. We’re grateful for his leadership and the partnership with @mnhealth as we work to support our students, educators and families. pic.twitter.com/SOVG2hIr4X— MN Dept. Education (@MnDeptEd) July 23, 2020
Gov. Walz issued a mask mandate while the White House has waffled about the importance of masking. The issue of reopening schools is one of the most controversial in Minnesota and nationally, amid ongoing concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
School districts have been advised by MDE to prepare for three potential scenarios for fall 2020: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with strict social distancing; or distance learning only.
A new survey of the members of Education Minnesota found distance learning was the most popular choice for delivering education through public schools in the fall and that educators were extremely concerned about the safety of students and themselves during the pandemic.
Forty-nine percent of the respondents said they preferred distance learning while 29 percent preferred hybrid classes and 17 percent favored a return to in-person classes. The survey was open to the 86,000 members of the union from July 16-20. The number of educators to respond was 20,524. Click here to read the survey.
“Learning safely is the goal,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, at a news conference last week. “It should be done in-person when we can, and at a distance when we must. What is safe must be defined by the latest data, the best scientific analysis and with an eye on the racial disparities that haunt our society. We cannot be bullied by an arbitrary start date on the calendar nor can we settle for ‘safe enough’ because that’s all that’s in the district budget.”