ST PAUL, Minn. — In a social media post on Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced that state education leaders and Gov. Tim Walz will officially unveil the state's strategy for the 2020-21 school year on July 30.
"On July 30, MDE and (Gov. Walz) will share Minnesota’s strategy to educate students and keep communities healthy during the 2020-21 school year," the post read. "We’re grateful for his leadership and the partnership with (Minnesota Department of Health) as we work to support our students, educators and families."
The issue of reopening schools has become a political flashpoint in Minnesota and nationally, amid ongoing concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, MDE advised school districts to prepare for three potential scenarios for fall 2020: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with strict social distancing; or distance learning only.
Earlier Thursday, Education Minnesota released a survey of its union members, showing 49% of educators saying they prefer all distance learning for fall, while 29% said they preferred a hybrid of distance learning and in-person instruction, and 17% said they preferred to only be in the classroom.
However, the results of the Education Minnesota survey had notable differences from the Minnesota PK-12 Distance Learning Survey, also released this week, conducted by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. That survey found nearly 7,800 teachers reported they "worried a great deal" about continuing distance learning in the fall, versus nearly 5,800 worried about going back to school and getting sick.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.