Governor Ducey issues a new order forcing schools to reopen


Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order on the third of March that requires public schools to offer in-person instruction by March 15th. Twelve out of the fifteen Arizona counties are reportedly safe to reopen.


“Arizona’s students need to be back in the classroom. More than half of Arizona’s schools are open and offering in-person options. More schools need to follow their lead, and pave the way for equitable education options for every Arizona student,” Ducey said.


The order states that schools must return to in-person learning by March 15th or after individually designated spring breaks. Middle schools and high schools in counties with high transmission rates of COVID-19 (three of our fifteen) are excused from the order. The only counties exempted from the order are Coconino, Yavapai, and Pinal.


A student may continue virtual learning if they choose to do so, but the order states that schools must offer in-person instruction. 


“The CDC and numerous health officials have said time and time again that schools are safe and kids can go back to the classroom,” informs Ducey. 


“We prioritized teachers in our vaccine distribution, and many have already received their second dose. The science is clear: it’s time all kids have the option to return to school so they can get back on track and we can close the achievement gap,” Ducey said, elaborating on the decision making process. 


Many who are online have fallen behind in their classes, which motivated Ducey’s decision to push the order. This will not force virtual students to return to school, but may change how schools deal with the pandemic in the future. Virtual and in-person learning may become more separate to help teachers better manage their classroom.


Ducey aims to protect the students’ needs while still following the CDC guidelines. If the schools follow basic safety protocols, the students will hopefully remain safe while being able to better their learning.