Governor Brown says new back to school metrics for rural areas may be coming

MEDFORD, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown said there is a possibility that the state may adjust those metrics in rural counties.

Schools statewide have run into new problems, after Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education released metrics and guidelines to reopen for in-person schooling this fall.

“We are all going to have to step up our efforts if we want to get our kids back in school, and I think we would all agree that’s exactly where our kids need to be in the fall.”

In an interview, Governor Brown said those metrics may be adjusted to meet the needs of rural counties with lower infection rates.

“We’re working with a group of legislators and county commissioners and public health officials in rural Oregon to see if we can’t come up with a new metric, a modification that will allow them to get more of their kids back in school given the low numbers of the virus they have in that region”

Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer isn’t part of that group. But, he’s hopeful the metrics will change to get more kids in the classroom.

“I do think we have different demographics, different risk factors, we are much different than our northern counties and cities, so we should have different metrics,” Commissioner Dyer said.

While most agree, in-person schooling is best for a child’s education. The governor says the most important thing is the safety of students and staff.

“We want to make sure that students and teachers can stay safe and we also want to make sure kids get a good, quality education,” Brown said.

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