Schools ended in-person classes in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 130,000 Americans, including 3,000 Georgians, according to state and federal estimates.
DeVos has pushed for schools at all levels to reopen, and President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that do not reopen this semester. However, many school districts nationally and locally — including Atlanta, DeKalb and Clayton — have announced plans in recent days to begin the fall semester teaching students virtually. Several others in metro Atlanta are offering families the option of starting the school year attending virtual classes or with in-person instruction.
DeVos did not provide specifics about ways the federal government can assist schools to offer in-person instruction. She did talk about schools being flexible in teaching, online if necessary.
“Our kids are counting on us to figure it out,” she said.
In response to a question about Georgia’s request last month to waive the public school testing requirement for another school year, DeVos said she would like to see some “snapshot” form of assessment, particularly on the elementary school level, which experts say are the critical years to measure student proficiency in reading and math. DeVos said she doesn’t support frequent testing, but “there’s a balance to be struck there, and it’s an important one.”
Georgia requested and received a waiver in the spring from the testing requirement for the school year that ended in May.