Today, Iowa Governor asserted school districts that do not follow the 50% mandate of in-person classes that their students will not receive credit.
Governor Reynolds made the announcement this Wednesday saying that school districts that defy this mandate are defying the law and if they do not hold in-person classes, the students of those school districts will not receive credits. She added that they have to get approval of the state to offer distance learning.
During the press conference Reynolds declared schools that move to distance learning only without approval of the state will not have those days counted towards instructional time and school administrators will have to confront licensure discipline. She emphasized that this was the law of the state. In June Iowa Legislature passed Senate File 2310 that states that school districts submitting plans for returning to school have to include plans for in-person instructions and “provide that in-person instruction is the presumed method of instruction.” The Governor did not say anything about the possibility of losing state funding.
At this point Rolling Green school board voted to offer distance learning and Rollin Green was the only school that received a temporary waiver to have distance learning. The Governor refused to extend the waiver denying the request for this district to continue online learning.
Also, Waukee school district announced on Monday that they will not follow the Iowa Governor’s guidance. The statement form this school district said state law allows school districts to make their own decisions when it comes to hazardous situations that can affect students.
Many school officials in the state of Iowa believe that local control should be given to schools to decide how to proceed with school openings.