Healthy at School: Increased flexibility given to school districts for reopening

Beshear Kentucky GED
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 21, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman joined Gov. Andy Beshear at his daily COVID-19 update to talk about the education plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

Here are some of the increased flexibilities Lt. Gov. Coleman mentioned that school districts will have:

  • Unlimited NTI days
    • "This is so that if schools decide the best move for them is to go to full digital instruction, that they are able to do that without any limitations," said Lt. Gov. Coleman.
  • Removed "Daily Average Attendance" requirement for funding
    • "By removing this barrier, this allows schools to create hybrid models where they may bring in some students on some days and some students on other days to be able to create that flexibility."
  • Expanded Care Program
    • "This will help provide funding for school districts with a 3-to-1 federal match for mental health services and behavioral health services."
  • Unlimited COVID-related emergency days for faculty and staff quarantine

The cabinet for education and workforce development has engaged in discussions with both public and private groups to expand WiFi in areas of Kentucky who need it the most.

Lt. Gov. Coleman says she hopes to have a more clear announcement on that coming soon.

"We need our school districts to make sure they are flexible in order to keep our students, our teachers, and our families safe," said Lt. Gov. Coleman, adding that a majority of the school districts have done it the right way.

That includes surveying their respective communities, teachers, and students.

"At the heart of every reopening plan, should be the health and safety of every child and every adult in the building, as well as their family they go home to at night," said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

She also asked parents to extend grace to the superintendents and school leaders of their respective schools who have to make the tough decisions that lie ahead.

"As a teacher, I feel the concerns of my fellow educators about reopening," she said. "Their voice has to be heard and it has to be elevated and it has to be a part of every reopening plan because they are the experts."

Lt. Gov. Coleman also promised the state will review and look at statistics and medical data before making a final decision moving forward.

"My plea to you is to stay with us and stay together," she said.

Lt. Gov. Coleman also said she wrote a letter to United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, appealing for an additional round of CARES funding for schools.