In a great example of putting children over politics, Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman appeared together on a joint video (please click here to watch) and announced that, due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the two-week closure of Arizona’s K-12 schools from March 16, 2020, to March 27, 2020.
After Governor Ducey said “the health and safety of all our students is our top priority,” and recognizing that many children depend on public schools to help them with their health and nutritional needs, Superintendent Hoffman noted that, after hearing from many districts that there would be high absenteeism among staff and students, “that we are announcing a statewide closure of all Arizona schools from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27.”
Both Ducey and Hoffman then sought to reassure the community that “efforts” would be made to ensure that children who need free and reduced meals through their schools would continue to be fed through “summer food (equivalent) operations and the distributing of boxed food.”
Both then suggested, based on health care recommendations, that children stay at home as much as possible during this two week period. For families where that is not possible, the Governor said they were working with “local faith-based and YMCA/Boys and Girls Clubs to provide childcare options.” He then said they would be working with districts to ensure that educators did not have “disruption in pay.”
Hoffman then said they were consulting with the United States Department of Education to potentially secure a waiver for statewide testing.
The Governor then ended by stating that “we are going to act together and we are going to get through this together.”
Superintendent Hoffman then said that “We will continue to remain in close contact with state and public health officials to provide the most up to date and ensure that the State of Arizona is doing everything we can to keep every member our community safe and healthy.”
The Governor closed by encouraging people that have questions on the Coronavirus to visit www.azhealth.gov.
A letter from both the Governor and the Superintendent can be accessed here.
This is what good public service and governing is supposed to be about.
With continued joint coordination and action, the people in Arizona should come through this better and faster.