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State needs to move on school year plans

Sometime this fall, Minnesota schools are going to start educating students again. Exactly when this will be, and exactly how this will happen, is up in the air right now. But there are things that need to be done to be ready for it, whenever that is.

Teaching positions need to be filled, and teachers prepared for the year ahead. Students need to be registered. School facilities need to be prepared and cleaned — and plans need to be made to keep them sanitized.

Fairmont Area Schools Superintendent Joe Brown noted this week that school districts are working right now to prepare for any one of three different school scenarios — a continuation of the distance learning that they used to finish out the school year, having students return to school in person, or some combination of both. The state is expected to provide some guidance in the next couple of weeks, but schools are working on three plans.

At the moment, waiting for state guidance seems a bit unfair to everyone, from educators, to students, to parents, to taxpayers. And time is certainly running short, in our view. The school year is not that far away. At the same time, the state has to formulate the best plan it can and it apparently needs a little more time. So we think people should cut it a break, for now. But that generosity of spirit should not last long if the state fails to move in coming weeks.

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