Transcript for Miami-Dade schools superintendent: ‘Makes no sense’ to pack schools
And now the question on every parent's mind what will school look like in the fall and will be safe we're talking to Alberto Karbala superintendent of Miami Dade schools in Florida that's the fourth largest school district in the country and Eads in a -- nineteen hot spot. Thanks so much for joining us superintendent. Thank you for the opportunity. So Florida's governor as you well know has ordered public schools statewide to reopen in late August for in person classes five days a week that's also what the president wants but you are saying that you will not open your schools and a traditional way if cases continue to surge so do you have the power ultimately go against the state order and are you hoping it other superintendents might follow your lead. While I have the power to speak the truth and the power to inform my community about current circumstances here in our community and here's what we know. Positively rates are higher in Miami Dade can keep growing. Hospitalization rates to keep increasing daily. The mortality rates in the state of Florida is up. And the number of icu beds occupied by Cooper nineteen positive individuals. Is on the rise. And reaching critical capacity in Miami day. The mayor of Miami Dade just close down restaurants this week it makes no sense for me. To empty out restaurants but pack schools. So I have a responsibility not only to educate our children. But actually to provide for their well being and safety. That's something I do not think likely we are prepared to teach kids and a physical way but only win the conditions improve. To a satisfactory level that meets quite frankly. Federal and state guidelines we are still in Miami Dade in phase one we have not transitioned to face to. During phase one we cannot open schools. Now the trump administration has argued that the social psychological and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer. Would actually be worse in the virus itself what's your response to that. Look we pay close attention obviously to the not only cock into its development of children but also the social and emotional well being. And we have established hotlines and support for parents students even our employees. Obviously the best place for children to learn is in school. But it considering the current conditions in our community that I described earlier. No return to physical schooling under the current health threat. And quite frankly considering the White House's only reopening planned which declares that during phase one. During phase one physical schooling can not take place so we will provide the social emotional support to children. Via secure safe. That distance means but let's work together to modify the conditions in our community by following the Riche frictions in proving. And conditions reducing the positive but he rate. For us to safely returned kids to school there's a fair balance the need to reach and one should not compromise the other. It seems like all of our options are reasonably problematic weather is in person classes distance learning or some combination of the two so let's. Costs and politics were not at all an issue what kind of creative solutions do you thing that we could explore and if there's a good option what's the biggest hurdle. Look I think we've developed a number of options that are very viable the scoreboard and Miami Dade unanimously approved last week a plan that was. Actually endorsed by health experts including. A former surgeon general indicted states that includes a five day in school option when conditions improve win. That positively rate declines may be to a 10% level. But also offers a number of options for parents hybrid models with alternating cycles of students in school and home. Also a continuous remote learning option would certify teachers following a schedule. We had a specific cohort of students they are creative ways that we can teach children while keeping them safe. And by the way this is not only about the gets. I know there's a lot of research a lot of conversation about the fact that children are more resilient to this virus there it's true. However children are in daily contact with their parents or grandparents were there teachers and even those a school system we will heighten. The safety precautions. Kids will be wearing masks in school. We will intensify. Our SN accusations cycles but at a time when. At positively. Is on the rise at a time when quite frankly the local economy is retracting once again by shutting down restaurants. It seems to need to be illogical. To force teachers and students back in schools. And just quickly just want to go back to that idea of remote learning are you concerned that kids may fall back as far as their course their curriculum. If there are several more months of of remote learning. Our maps only concerned look during the last quarter of last school year I predicted that probably we are ushering into. Historic condition of academic regression meaning learning loss particularly impacting the most tried to our kids in America. Poor kids that kids walking wish language learners and students with disabilities. That's why we ought to return to normal schooling in a physical way when conditions improve. And if we want to have an impact on improving conditions. We better do a better job in terms of the restrictions we should follow. To ensure that the number of cases is are actually reduced and I don't think in communities across the country that is happening. Superintendent Karbala we thank you so much for your time really appreciate your insight tonight. Thank you.
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