CHARLESTON – Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, and House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, today delivered a letter to Governor Jim Justice to request that he initiate the necessary actions to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
“Current public health modeling projections suggest the COVID-19 virus will peak during the first week of May in West Virginia. Based upon these projections, we believe it would be wise to fall on the side of caution and keep students at home for the remainder of the 2020 school year rather than risk sending our children into potentially hazardous and untenable learning environments,” the letter states.
The letter also notes that the May primary election has been rescheduled to avoid potential public health risks of crowds gathering. Families, teachers, service personnel, and the public in general would benefit from receiving the same certainty about the end of the academic year, and would allow preparations for next year to begin without the cloud of the pandemic hanging over them.
This crisis, the legislative leaders said, has re-emphasized the need for West Virginia’s schools to deploy distanced-based learning tools and the ability to teach students via video feed and other technological channels.
“The critical need for reliable, world-class broadband service is a vital element of this educational methodology. We challenge ourselves and call upon all other state and local leaders to facilitate the rapid deployment and/or enhancement of technology infrastructure in the West Virginia public education system with the goal of delivering superior educational content in a distance learning environment,” the letter states.
View the full letter here.