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Arizona governor orders school districts to offer in-person learning by March 15

Arizona governor orders school districts to offer in-person learning by March 15
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Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceySex ed rules passed in Arizona would require parents to sign off on LGBT discussions, info Republican legislators target private sector election grants More GOP-led states risk corporate backlash like Georgia's MORE (R) issued an executive order on Wednesday ordering schools to return to in-person, teacher-led instruction by March 15.

Ducey said in a statement that 12 of the state’s 15 counties are in phases where schools are safe to open under guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The order mandates schools return to in-person learning by March 15 or after spring break. An exception would be made for middle and high schools that are in counties with “high” transmission of COVID-19.

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Under CDC guidelines, high transmission areas are those that report at least 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days, or a seven-day testing positivity rate of 10 percent.

Ducey’s order also allows students to continue participating in virtual instruction if their parent or guardian chooses to do so.

“The CDC and numerous health officials have said time and time again that schools are safe and kids can go back to the classroom,” Ducey said in a statement. “The science is clear: it’s time all kids have the option to return to school so they can get back on track and we can close the achievement gap.”

Ducey’s order comes amid a larger push across the nation for reopening schools as soon as possible.

The CDC’s guidance says that schools can safely reopen and that vaccinating teachers wasn’t a prerequisite for opening schools. However, President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE on Tuesday called on states to ensure that teachers and school staff get at least one vaccine dose by the end of the month amid anxieties around school reopenings.