The Kentucky Education Association says it is not safe for teachers and students to return to the classroom.
The group which represents 42,000 current and retired educators in the Commonwealth, is calling for a virtual start to the school year at all public schools.
KEA released a statement Friday which says in part:
“KEA believes the choice, based on scientific evidence, is clear: Kentucky's public schools should not open to in-person instruction at this time. Every educator that can perform his or her duties from home should be encouraged to do so. For those whose job duties require their presence in school facilities, great care should be taken to ensure strict compliance with mask, social distancing, and disinfecting protocols. In short, only the most essential operations should occur in person, for the least period of time possible and with the fewest number of people."
Currently, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has called for schools to delay the start of school until at least the third week of August. However, when asked, this week, if there was a possibility of pushing the in-person start date back, even further, the Governor said he would considerate the numbers next week.
KEA says teachers and students should not be back in the classroom until, "the infection rate in Kentucky statewide and the infection rate in the county in which the school district is located both fall below 4% and both remain below 4% for 21 consecutive days as measured by a 7-day rolling average."
As of Friday, the statewide rate of infection was 5.57%.
In Western Kentucky, most public schools plan to offer in-person instruction at the start of the semester. The first day of school for many is August 26th.