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Iowa governor insists on state control of in-school learning

Gov. Reynolds's insistence on in-person schooling gives leeway for areas with surging coronavirus cases, but only with the approval of state officials.
Credit: AP
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a news conference on the state's guidance for returning to school in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is insisting that the state control the return of public school classes next month, saying districts can provide online learning only if coronavirus cases are surging in their communities and state officials consent. 

The teachers union immediately pushed back, saying the lives of children and teachers are at stake and science not politics should guide decisions. 

Reynolds has said at least half of K-12 classes must be held in-person and only state education and health officials can grant permission for temporary online learning if a county exceeds 15% coronavirus positivity rate over a two-week period, and at least 10% of students are absent.