As school districts prepare for in-person learning, some lawmakers are asking for a delayed return

BOSTON — School districts are moving forward with plans to start bringing back students full time, but a bill on Beacon Hill proposes pushing back the deadline for when schools have to fully reopen.

Eleven lawmakers are backing emergency legislation that would require the state’s education commissioner to give school districts more time to prepare for the return of elementary school students to full-time, in-person lessons, until at least April 26th.

But many parents and students do not agree. That includes many in Winthrop, where they held a rally outside a school committee meeting Monday, asking to return to school as early as April 5, when elementary students are required by the state to return to full, in-person learning. The teachers’ union has argued they need more time to prepare for a return to in-person learning, even though this past summer they had to come up with three plans—remote, hybrid, and in-person. But students Boston 25 News spoke to say they just want to be able to be back in the classroom for the remaining weeks of their school year.

“These kids are so far behind right now they’re never catching up,” said Todd Sacco, a parent in Winthrop.

“I’m out here because I really want to go back to school and spend my last few weeks with my classmates who I grew up with,” said James Silva, a senior at Winthrop High School.

The Baker administration released a statement, saying in part that months of data have made it clear it is safe to do in-person learning.

The bill was introduced a few days ago, but it hasn’t been assigned to a committee yet, and time is ticking. Democratic lawmakers would need to move quickly if they want to get it passed.

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