(Grove City MN-) Two local lawmakers have mixed reviews to Governor Tim Walz guidance for the upcoming school year. Representative Dean Urdahl of Grove City gave it a thumbs up, saying “We appreciate the governor is listening to the people of Minnesota and the concerns of House Republicans as decisions are made regarding how to best plan for the new school year,” said Rep. Urdahl. “I am glad he recognizes one plan does not fit all because all of our school districts and families face unique situations. What is best for school districts in Greater Minnesota may be far different from those in urban areas and I am hopeful the approach we are taking will provide adequate latitude to adjust accordingly. Let’s hope this serves as a catalyst for more collaboration in the future.”
Representative Tim Miller of Prinsburg ripped the plan, saying school districts will be granted minimal flexibility regarding reopening. Miller says under the Governor’s plan, a county would need to report fewer than 9 cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 residents over a 14-day period in order for schools in that county to fully reopen with in-person classes. Miller called the plan "a puzzling mess in which schools in some counties remain fully open while schools in other counties remain closed.” The Department of Health will monitor school districts as they operate to ensure that schools do not become epicenters of COVID-19 spread. If a county has more than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 residents, then all schools in that county will only be permitted to offer online distance learning. Miller says the plan does not account for school districts that have students from multiple counties.