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Bill would require full in-person learning for upcoming school year

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    SALEM, Oregon (KPTV) — A new state bill announced on Thursday would require schools to offer full, in-person learning for students in the upcoming school year.

Lawmakers say there’s already widespread agreement that the benefits of in-person learning outweigh the risks of spreading COVID-19, but passing this law will provide certainty for parents and kids.

State representative Vikki Breese-Iverson, a Republican from Prineville, introduced House Bill 3399 on Thursday calling it a bi-partisan effort supported in both chambers of the legislature. The bill would order the Oregon Department of Education to ensure that 100% of in-person instruction is offered in classrooms around the state.

Breese-Iverson cited her own example as a mother of students who struggled with their academics, social interactions and behaviors during the last year of online and hybrid learning amid the pandemic. She says that not passing the bill would hurt all families, especially, those who live in school districts that have been reluctant to go back to in-person learning, despite low COVID-19 numbers in their communities.

“We need certainty for working parents that their kids will be in school. The most vulnerable kids in Oregon need a safe place to go everyday and parents need to know it will be there for them.”

If passed, the bill would have to be signed into law before the end of the legislative session at the end of next month.

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