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State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey: ‘I would not recommend’ statewide school shutdown, virtual learning

As coronavirus numbers spike, and the possibility of new leadership at the top of the federal government in Washington, D.C. is present, speculation about the possibility of more drastic measures taken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 is underway.

Earlier this month, Joe Biden named his COVID-19 task force, a panel that includes Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota director Dr. Michael Osterholm, who has been a proponent of another shutdown.

Gov. Kay Ivey has signaled her opposition to a shutdown of businesses on the state level. However, might Alabama’s schools close and return to a system of so-called virtual learning?

During an appearance on Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey said although that was also a decision for Ivey, he would recommend against it.

“I’m unwilling to go there just yet,” he said. “Ultimately, that would obviously be a decision for the Governor to make. But I can tell you right now, I would not recommend that because, again, we better understand this disease than we did in the spring. And we have better factors in place, whether it’s wearing masks or social distancing. I think that we should probably try to finish out the school year as best we can and hope that after a vaccine comes, things get a little better faster.”

“We also believe if we can get just through the next couple of months and back to springtime weather — we’ll have spring sports,” Mackey added. “All the spring sports are outdoors, and we’ll be able to get back to, you know, students eating outside. We think it will be better. But we’re worried about the next two or three months, and then after that, I think it will get much better.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

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