Virginia Republicans want students inside classrooms five days a week when schools reopen


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A group of Republican lawmakers called on Gov. Ralph Northam to withdraw the state’s guidelines for reopening schools on Wednesday, insisting that the governor should prioritize a plan to have full in-person learning five days a week for all Virginia students.

The group, which included Del. Kirk Cox, Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, Sen. Jill Vogel, Sen. Jen Kiggans and Del. Carrie Coyner, held a conference call on Zoom to address their concerns with the preliminary guidance from Northam’s administration on reopening.

Republicans cited guidance recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics advocating “that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

RELATED: Newly released guidelines from Virginia Department of Education on reopening schools

During the call, Sen. Dunnavant (R-Henrico) pushed Northam to “put in place a roadmap that helps the schools reopen for five days of learning for all students while also having a robust real virtual education as an option but not a requirement.” 

A spokeswoman for the governor, Alena Yarmosky, stressed that the state will move forward with caution and claimed that Republicans were “playing politics.”

“This is about public health. While Governor Northam wants nothing more than to have children back in school this fall, recent surges in other states make it clear we need to proceed cautiously,” Yarmosky said. “We must continue to prioritize safety—not just for students and their families, but for teachers, staff, and communities across the Commonwealth.”

“No one—not state legislators, and not the President of the United States—should be playing politics,” she added.

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