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Iowa State Education Association, Iowa City Community School District sue over Return to Learn guidance

Both the professional educators association and school district will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

IOWA, USA — With back to school fast approaching for many districts in Iowa, the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) is joining with one district in a lawsuit over local control of how schools should reopen. 

The ISEA and Iowa City Community School District are holding a press conference at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. 

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Iowa State Education Association

The Iowa State Education Association is live now with ISEA President Mike Beranek, General Counsel Jay Hammond and Iowa City Education Association President Brady Shutt.

Posted by ISEA on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

In a release, leaders said they filed the lawsuit to "...confirm the authority of local school districts and their boards of directors in making decisions in the best interest of health and safety regarding school closures, virtual learning and other important measures."

A main focus is the positivity rate threshold for when schools should shift to online learning. The state said there needs to be a 15% positivity rate in a county on average for 14 days as well as a 10% absenteeism in a school before they can apply to temporarily move classes online.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has offered a stern warning to districts who choose not to follow guidance. 

"I want to be very clear, schools that choose not to return to school for at least 50% in person instruction, are not defying me, they're defying the law," Reynolds said. 

The law Reynolds referenced is Senate File 2310, which passed the Legislature unanimously and went into effect July 1.

WATCH: Return to Learn coverage on Local 5's YouTube page