State School Board Rejects Gov. Kelly’s Plan to Reopen Schools After Labor Day

TOPEKA – The Kansas State School Board voted to reject Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order postponing school reopening Wednesday.

In a 5 to 5 vote, the Kansas State School Board rejected Gov. Kelly’s executive order to postpone school openings for three more weeks. The vote needed a simple majority to pass. The decision on when to reopen schools now goes back to school districts.

Gov. Kelly signed an executive order to delay school reopening to after Labor Day on Monday, her decision drawing approval and push back from state officials.

When K-12 schools reopen, students and staff will be required to follow safety measures including:

  • Students 6th grade and up, all staff and visitors should wear face masks.
    • Students 5th grade and under will likely be distracted by masks, and are therefore not included in this recommendation.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6-feet, when possible.
  • All students and staff should wash their hands every hour.
  • Students and staff who are sick should stay home.
  • Daily temperature screenings of all students and staff.
    • This recommendation was made, but understood to potentially be too time-consuming and difficult for schools, especially those with large student populations.

According to Will Lawrence, Chief of Staff, the reasons behind Gov. Kelly’s order include:

  • The rising number of coronavirus cases.
  • Giving schools more time to prepare for the school year.
  • Offering predictability for families and employers for school schedules.

None of the provisions of the executive order apply to home schools or students learning remotely.