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Over Bowser Objections, D.C. Council Passes Virtual Learning Option in Public Schools

The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation Tuesday expanding virtual learning in the city’s public schools to the chagrin of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Bowser supports in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 academic school year. However, since the beginning of the school year in late August, nearly 200 D.C. Public Schools staffers and more than 500 students have tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in more than 1,000 students and teachers quarantining.

A doctor had to write a note on behalf of a student saying virtual learning was a requirement, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

With this in mind, the council voted to offer a virtual option to any student who is at high risk for the disease or lives with someone who is high-risk. As a result, a doctor now only has to say it is recommended that a student take classes remotely.

In a letter to the council, Bowser voiced her objections to their action. Agreeing with his boss, D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn said the council’s bill is contrary to science, disruptive to the operation of schools and costly, WRC reported.

Emergency legislation takes effect in 10 days, with or without Bowser’s approval, and it is up to the mayor to implement it.

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