This article was originally posted on AZCentral, be sure to go to their website for the full article.
Some kids just need a place to go during the day. Some just need a meal, or an internet connection.
COVID-19 hasn’t changed that fact — but it’s made it harder for some Arizona families to find those services, partly due to school closures.
Many state and education leaders do not want to reopen in-person classes yet in the face of the pandemic. Gov. Doug Ducey and schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced last week that schools would wait to get the go-ahead to reopen from health officials, who will set benchmarks using health data.
But Ducey’s latest order requires schools to open in some capacity for the students with no place to go starting Aug. 17.
The definition of the students requiring the in-person service is broad, which has led to some criticism from educators worried that schools will be overwhelmed with students seeking in-person education.
The leaders who helped develop the state’s most recent plan, however, say the provision to reopen for vulnerable students is critical.
“Otherwise, they are in an unsafe environment at home,” Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa and chair of the House Education Committee, said.