Sen. Pratt: Giving schools flexibility on reopening is the right decision, but Governor’s announcement should have been made weeks ago

Minnesota state Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tim Walz’s announcement providing guidance to schools on reopening.

“The governor’s decision to lean toward giving schools flexibility on reopening safely was the right one, but unfortunately it comes way too late, and the matrix is an unnecessary way of keeping control over schools. Schools and parents have been begging for clarity for weeks and months, and they still don’t have it.  

“We have been saying for weeks why the option should be left to local districts. As a former school board member, I can tell you that local school districts have a far better understanding of their specific needs than the governor. Educators don’t want mandates from St. Paul; they want flexibility to reopen in the manner that will best serve their students. Experts agree that students should be back in schools this fall. The choice has been obvious, but still the governor made school officials, teachers, parents, and students wait.

“I am glad the governor at least partially took our advice, but there’s still room to grant districts more flexibility, and schools and parents could have been in a much better position for the fall year had he announced this decision in June instead of the end of July.”