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NJ governor allows schools to open remotely

NJ governor allows schools to open remotely
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) says that schools will be allowed to operate completely remotely during the coronavirus pandemic under certain circumstances, after insisting on in-person classes for months.

Murphy made the announcement on Wednesday while also announcing an executive order allowing K-12 schools, colleges and universities to resume in-person learning immediately.

Under the new guidelines, schools will have to explain why they could not meet state health and safety standards to open in-person and they are required to produce a timeline for addressing those issues. 

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"There is no one size fits all plan to this very difficult situation," Murphy said at a news conference. "We are fully committed to getting this right ... Any student who chooses to continue remote learning must be accommodated."

The move comes after several state school districts decided to keep classes online for the remainder of the year.

The board of Elizabeth, N.J.'s school district moved Monday to take classes entirely online, a decision that reportedly came after several teachers opted out of in-person classes over health concerns.

"It became fruitless to continue to try to do what was impossible. So they're going to spend the next five weeks making remote learning the best it possibly can be," Pat Politano, a spokesperson for the school district, told CBS News.

Politano added that the school district is working toward closing equity gaps in online learning, a concern that has been brought up on both sides of the aisle. 

"This is a working-class and low-income community, but their children are entitled to equitable education, and we're going to work like hell to see that they get that," he said.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE has pushed for schools to reopen nationwide, though most of those decisions are made at the state and local levels. 

The president has maintained that children are not as negatively impacted by COVID-19 as other populations. But other health experts have noted children can still catch the virus and pass it along to more vulnerable individuals.

Updated: 3:05 p.m.