Virginia Plots Fall School Reopening, With Some Students Likely Back in Classrooms

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northram

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northram AP Photo/Steve Helber

 

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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Louisville police release nearly blank incident report in Breonna Taylor shooting … New Jersey freezes lead pipe plans … Georgia election problems to be investigated.

Virginia education and health officials this week laid out their rough plan for how students will go back to school in the fall, which could include in-person learning for at least some students. The proposal suggests three phases, with the first dependent on remote learning before moving to classroom instruction for younger students. In the last phase, all students would attend school, but with physical distancing requirements to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. If Virginia stays on its current trajectory with Covid-19 containment, all counties by Friday would be ready for the second phase, allowing the youngest elementary students to return to school in the fall. “All Virginia schools will open for students next year, but the school experience will look very different,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “These phases will allow in-person instruction, but slowly.” Local school districts will be allowed to implement more stringent restrictions and any reopening plans will need to be approved by the state. [Richmond Times-Dispatch; Washington Post]

BREONNA TAYLOR REPORT | The nearly blank incident report from the Louisville police shooting of EMT Breonna Taylor in her apartment, which was released on Wednesday, stated she had no injuries. But Taylor was shot eight times after police executed a “no-knock” search warrant on her apartment. [Courier-Journal]

LEAD PIPES | A plan in New Jersey to replace 330,000 lead service lines may be delayed due to the state’s newfound financial woes brought on by the economic downturn. The lines were set to be replaced after drinking water in many homes in the state was found to have unsafe levels of lead. The project was estimated to cost around $2 billion, and Gov. Phil Murphy had originally planned to set aside $80 million in the 2021 budget to start it. The governor now says the state is facing a $10 billion shortfall and will no longer be able to allocate the $80 million (The one exception was Newark, as the city is using a bond issue to replace lines). [NJ Spotlight]

ELECTION LINES | Multiple investigations have opened into the long lines and hours-long waits that some voters in Atlanta had to deal with while trying to cast their ballots this week. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that the voting situation was “unacceptable” and that the investigation will “determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election." County officials in Georgia have countered that Raffensperger’s office is responsible for many of the problems. [WSB-TV; CBS46]

DAM LAWSUIT | The Michigan Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the owner of a dam that recently failed and caused widespread flooding. The lawsuit states that the dam is "still showing many signs of weakness" and that the owner should be held to a deadline for making fixes. [Detroit News]

Laura Maggi is a managing editor at Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is an assistant editor.

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