State releases broad reopening guidance for schools; commissioner testifies in US Senate hearing

Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Education released guidance this week on how schools can navigate the reopening process this fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in April, Gov. Bill Lee recommended that schools remain close for the academic year to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As school districts work to develop reopening plans for the upcoming school year, state officials are also making moves.

On Wednesday, TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn virtually testified before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee’s hearing on COVID-19: Returning to School Safely — where she shared that reopening schools in Tennessee would add $100 to $150 in new costs per student.

TDOE issued some fact sheets, “toolkits” and broad, limited guidance on how school districts may direct the reopening process.

“As this is an evolving situation, the department will continue to post updates about reopening guidance for districts, as new information is available,” TDOE states on its site.

Commissioner Schwinn said the resources were the first in TDOE’s reopening series.

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