KY superintendents discuss back-to-school plans amidst COVID surge

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Superintendents in Kentucky are grappling with Governor Andy Beshear’s new recommendations as districts make their plans to return to school.

Monday, Beshear encouraged schools to require all unvaccinated students and adults wear masks indoors, and even consider universal masking for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

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The Local Superintendents Advisory Council met virtually Tuesday morning to discuss.

Corbin Independent Schools Superintendent Dave Cox said it would be easier if Beshear made the recommendations into mandates, which is something Beshear said he wouldn’t be afraid to do if necessary.

Cox said he lost 75 kids to a nearby district last year because he chose to follow the recommendations, while the other school system did not.

“What happens is, this recommendation is really asking us to turn it into a mandate, and then, at that point in time, it pits districts against one another,” Cox said.

Education Commissioner Jason Glass said he understands, but says for now, he said districts should listen local health departments.

“Why in the world would I listen to an uninformed, politically-biased opinion about what we need to do to keep our schools safe, when we know the things that are effective at keeping our schools safe,” Glass asked.

He also said making decisions based on how a community feels won’t hold up in court if the district is sued over a COVID death.