Lt. Gov. names school reopening task force

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman announced members of a task force working on how to continue K-12 education in the fall amidst the pandemic.

In the last three months, Coleman, in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education, has been building a coalition of public education leaders.

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Coleman says the group includes teachers, superintendents and school boards along with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Department of Public Health, to name a few.

Four bipartisan state lawmakers are also on the task force.  They are Democratic Senator Reggie Thomas, of Lexington; Republican Senator Max Wise, of Campbellsville; Democratic Representative Tina Bojanowski, of Louisville, and Republican Representative Regina Huff, of Williamsburg.

Coleman says she’s hopeful Kentucky can make the transition to whatever is recommended or required for the fall, because educators and staff made the switch to non-traditional instruction (NTI) in March when the pandemic hit Kentucky.  Many school districts were using online instruction exclusively for the first time and successfully completed the semester.

Governor Andy Beshear says he realizes being in-person for class is the best option, but flexibility is key.

“We know when kids aren’t in that class, the quality of their education is less. That doesn’t mean that teachers aren’t trying, that doesn’t mean that parents aren’t trying,” Beshear says. “[Being in class] is an important experience that those kids need. With that said, we’re going to have be flexible.”

He also says whenever students and teachers do return to the classroom, parents and schools should be prepared for intermittent closings if there’s a coronavirus outbreak.