ST PAUL, Minn. — It's the question parents desperately want answered: will kids be allowed back in classrooms this fall? Or will they be at home?
The Minnesota Department of Education has said it will announce its decision on July 27, however, it has asked districts to prepare for three scenarios: in-person learning, distance learning and a mix of both.
Saturday, the grassroots organization Reopen Minnesota Schools held a peaceful rally outside of the Capitol, calling on Governor Walz to reopen classrooms in the fall with minimal to no restrictions.
"We care about our kids and we value in-person real education," said Lindsey Nelson, at the rally.
Among those in the crowd were parents and students. Those speaking included: U.S. Senate candidate and former Congressman Jason Lewis, former State Rep. Jim Newberger, and Dr. David Lang, a local physician.
"Quality education is a right and distance learning does not offer that quality," said Nelson.
Parents like Angie McCulloch agree.
"This new virus, yes it's definitely a worry, but I don't believe in living life in fear," said McCulloch, who drove with her daughter Rylie from Blaine to the rally.
Rylie said distance learning in the spring was not a good experience.
"It was hard to find motivation to even start it in the morning and to keep going. It wasn't fun so why would I want to keep doing it when I'm not forced to, when I'm not in the classroom," said Rylie.
This rally comes after a recent survey by the Minnesota Department of Education revealing that a majority of parents surveyed are comfortable with sending their kids back to a classroom. Just over half reported a bad experience with distance learning in the spring.
As parents wait for an answer from the state, this group says it will fight for the quality education all students deserve.
"They need to be in-person educated. They need to have their friends, their teachers and the outlet that school provides for them. From kids that don't need additional help to kids that need additional help. Special needs kids need to be able to thrive as well," said Angie McCulloch.
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