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Effort to keep kids in districts

Homebound Law could be expanded
Partition 2
Posted at 9:48 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 01:17:02-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Schools around the country are trying to figure out how to safely reopen classrooms.

But at the same time, more parents are asking about the possibility of homeschooling their children.

The Pima County Superintendent is working on another option but that requires a change in state statute.

While touring a charter school, Superintendent Dustin Williams saw a preliminary model for a return to the classroom; partitions surrounding desks keeping students distanced and divided enough to meet social distancing standards.

Williams said these measures may not be enough to ease the concerns of parents.

"Give parents the option so they don't feel like they have to leave," he said.

That option could be to change the current homebound law. That statute allows students who are not healthy to stay enrolled in school and learn from home.

That change would add Coronavirus concerns.

"They can still be considered full time and get funded accordingly," Williams explained. "And this also gives schools the ability to hire homebound teachers who would work with these students and give them the best education possible."

The recent COVID-19 related bill that allowed schools to be funded and do remote learning expires on June 30th.

"That's really going to affect schools and their funding model," Williams said.

Williams also said the Arizona Department of Education and the Governor's Office have been flexible so far, and receptive to this option.

"We're seeing some good opportunity for that to happen, but not a guarantee."

Williams said he hopes lawmakers will introduce this legislation in time for the start of next school year.