Iowa, Illinois state lawmakers outline legislative priorities during Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce forum

Republicans, including Cournoyer and Reynolds, support the proposal, saying students and families should have the option of being in the classroom full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic, even in districts where local school and public health officials have not deemed that to be safe.

“Some of these kids haven’t had quality, face-to-face education since March,” said Cournoyer, a small business owner, former Pleasant Valley School Board member, substitute teacher and mother of four. “(F)or most kids, that face-to-face in-person instruction is really the best education that they can get — not just for academics, but for social and emotional needs and additional instructional supports that they need.”

Cournoyer noted that Iowa teachers have been added to the next phase of vaccine distribution in the state, along with emergency first-responders and those age 65 and older, scheduled to begin this week.

“We are working closely with our federal delegation to make sure that we have enough vaccines to meet the demands and get them out in a timely manner,” she said.

Democrats oppose the measure, saying local leaders — not state lawmakers — know best how to operate their schools with staff’s and students’ education and safety in mind.

“I think it’s a mistake to put kids back in school 100% because a lot of teachers haven’t been vaccinated, and it’s a super spreader event to do that,” Iowa state Sen. Jim Lykam, D-Davenport said in an interview.

Region: Northern,City: Quad Cities,Feeds,Region: QC,Local

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February 1, 2021 at 04:38PM

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