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Arizona schools showing no signs of opening before the end of the school year

Posted: 7:38 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-28 08:16:17-04

An education official said there are no signs showing that Arizona schools will open before the end of the school year.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey made the decision to extend school closures until April 10 due to COVID-19. However, one education official doesn't foresee students heading back to class this spring.

"I don't see any numbers as far as people in Arizona or nationwide that are contracting this virus, that are going to be hospitalized with this virus that indicates to me that schools will be opening any time soon," said Joe Thomas, President of the Arizona Education Association.

Arizona Representative Michelle Udall has written a bill that acts as a plan if Governor Doug Ducey decides to close schools for the remainder of the year. House Bill 2910 would provide relief for grades, extend testing deadlines, and even requires schools to pay hourly staff for the remainder of the school year. The bill has been passed by both the Arizona House of Representatives and the Senate, and has been sitting on Governor Ducey's desk since Monday.

"They're going to try to give some flexibility to districts around a lot of these policies that are in state statute, but until the state board can weigh in and get the district's guidance on all that, the districts don't know to move forward," said Thomas.

If signed into law, the bill will go to the Arizona State Board of Education, which will then consult with districts and schools for the best way to implement these changes.