Gov. Parson says parents should expect big differences in school starts across Missouri

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Parents should expect different school reopenings across the Show Me State, as Gov. Mike Parson met with ten school superintendents in the metro area Thursday.

The governor says parents are likely to see full, in person classes at some rural schools, a hybrid system at schools in Springfield, Mo., and virtual classes only in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Parson says the diverse environment across the state means there can’t be a one-size fits all schedule for schools.

The governor says some counties have yet to see even one person hospitalized with CovId-19.

That’s why a statewide mask mandate doesn’t make sense to Parson.The governor says he’s worried most about low-income, poor students and those with disabilities getting left behind in places where there are no in-person classes.

“Many kids will have the ability to go virtual, and have the ability to do that. But there’s going to be a lot of kids out there that will not,” Parson said. “We have to figure out, how do we outreach to them? What are the schools doing? What am I doing as governor to connect to those people? Because the reality of it is the last thing we want, is kids left out.”

The governor said Missouri has gone from testing 4,000 people a week to more than 90,000 Covid-19 tests a week. And he thinks some of the increase we’re seeing in Missouri is the result of that big jump in testing.

He said the state will assist schools in making sure there’s money for transportation to get kids to in person classes and funding for nutrition programs.

None of the school superintendents in attendance spoke with reporters afterwards.

The governor said safety and education are his top priorities.

He said children must continue to be taught, even though the virus is all around us. Parson went on to say that we must do it in a way that provides safeguards for both teachers and children.

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