As entire school districts close around the state due to the COVID-19 crisis, Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn has granted limited waiver authority to allow a shift to remote learning. Why, then, are districts closing without even asking for a waiver?
WPLN in Nashville explains:
As of Wednesday afternoon, 13 districts have applied to temporarily shift some schools online and 8 were approved. But other school systems have closed without pursuing the state waiver for virtual learning.
“It does not apply for an entire district,” said Jeff Luttrell, the superintendent of Wilson County Schools, which has been shutdown all this week.
“And our numbers determined to us that we needed to shut down our district for a few days, to see if we could kind of stop the spread and allow some people to get healthy,” he added.
The waiver issue is the latest in a series of ineffective state policies as Tennessee’s leadership continues to mishandle COVID-19. Now, indicators suggest Tennessee is the number one state in the nation for pediatric COVID-19 cases.
Tennessee also leads the nation in overall cases per population:
Meanwhile, Gov. Lee has said he has no plans to change the state’s COVID mitigation strategy.
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