Gov. Ducey Rejects Arizona Superintendent Hoffman's Call For 2 Weeks Of Online Learning
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman is publicly asking Gov. Doug Ducey to order Arizona's schools into a two-week period of distance learning.
In a post on social media Saturday, Hoffman points out the state health department recommends virtual learning when COVID-19 case numbers, positivity rates and COVID-related hospital visits reach heightened levels. The latest data shows substantial spread in all 15 of Arizona's counties.
A spokesman for the governor said Ducey wouldn’t issue the order because how schools open is a local decision.
Arizona on Saturday reported nearly 8,900 additional known COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths.
Ducey, a Republican, and Hoffman, a Democrat, were aligned last spring when he ordered schools closed because of the coronavirus, but she voiced reservations later as he urged schools to provide in-person learning. Guidelines issued by Ducey’s administration during the fall let students remain in in-person classes beyond what earlier guidance would have recommended.
"This is a local decision," said C.J. Karamargin, Ducey's communications director. "The online option is already available, and the governor has repeatedly made his preference clear: Kids have already lost out on a lot of learning, and he wants schools opened, safely."
Hoffman's social media post points out there is a light at the end of this tunnel: Educators and school staff are among those next in line to get COVID-19 vaccinations. They're part of the 1B group, eligible for vaccines once frontline health care workers, emergency medical employees, and long-term care facility workers and residents are vaccinated.