TENNESSEE, USA — A new bill, proposed in the State's Special Session, could penalize schools' funding if schools don't reopen for in-person learning for at least 70 days this year.
The proposal states schools must meet that 70-day goal by June 30, 2021, and must remain open for the full 180 days in the 2021-2022 school year.
State leaders said they want every district back in-person now because they believe it will improve students' learning.
Meanwhile, critics have said kids should stay virtual due to rising COVID-19 numbers.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said schools need to do what research says is best for students.
"Kids do better in school. We know that parents know that," said Lee. "That's why I am so proud of schools who are open right now and to those who aren't I have one message: follow the science."
Additional bills being considered by the state to include:
- An increase in teachers' salaries
- Counties to be required to have a full-time nurse in every school
- Not counting state tests in a teacher's evaluation this school year
- Setting a state-wide grading scale for schools reporting student's grades to colleges
All of those bills are currently being reviewed in committees.