CONCERNS OVER REOPENING - A lot of schools are scheduled to reopen in a few weeks and in Arkansas- it’s August 24th. However not everyone is on board with that start date. During a meeting of the Arkansas legislative Education Caucus in Little Rock yesterday members of the Arkansas Education Association -- told state lawmakers it is unsafe for schools to return to in-person learning as Arkansas continues to struggle to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Carol Fleming is the president of the AEA.
"We are simply not ready to reopen schools to on-site, in-person instruction statewide," Fleming said.
Fleming asked state lawmakers to join the AEA’s call for education officials to begin the 20-21 school year with virtual only instruction as a way to keep students, teachers, parents, and the community safe from Covid-19 spread. The AEA has the support of Members of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of
Pediatrics and is basing their request on CDC reopening guidelines. But Governor Asa Hutchinson maintains that precautions are being taken to reopen schools for in-person instruction and during his Covid-19 update yesterday was asked about the AEA’s request.
"We're having the opposite approach which is let's start school in-classroom instruction," Hutchinson explained. "Let's do everything we can to be successful and if we have to adjust down the road in individual school districts, we will do that."
The Arkansas Education Association is the largest teacher’s union in the state and cited a recent survey saying 90 percent of the more than 6,000 respondents did not favor in-school teaching.