Arizona education leaders say the Trump administration and federal education leaders are wrong to call on schools to reopen as soon as possible during a continuing rise in COVID-19 cases.
During a Zoom conference call on Wednesday, State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman said the death of Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, a teacher in the Hayden Winkelman School District, from the coronavirus, is proof that he did not is not yet sure to return to full teaching in person.
“I can tell you that after the abrupt farewell in the spring, our teachers in Arizona want to return to their classrooms and they want to be with their students as soon as it is safe to do so,” Hoffman said. “However, it is clear that this is true. Now it is not safe to do so and a reckless attempt to reopen without basing these decisions on data will endanger the lives of our educators and students. ”
The meeting comes a day before Education Secretary Betsy DeVos holds a virtual closed-door event with the Federalist Society in Phoenix.
Hoffman said the in-person instruction would be delayed until at least August 17.
State Senator Martin Quezada, whose district includes Maryvale and Glendale, said DeVos was “out of touch” with educators on the ground.
“In a cabinet made up of morally challenged people, to be seen as the worst is to say something,” Quezada said.