In this Aug. 18, 2021, file photo, a large crowd gathered for a special SAD 70 school board meeting as the topic of mandatory face coverings was back on the table. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times

 

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COVID-19, and the state’s response to it, is negatively affecting student learning and personal growth. It is increasingly apparent that policies around attendance should be looked at. I reached this conclusion after several parents contacted me to say that their children have been quarantined multiple times, for 10-day spans, often with no positive COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms. In some cases, they have missed over a month of school even though they could safely return.

I have introduced legislation to address this growing problem. My bill, An Act to Keep Children in School, is designed to produce solutions that involve parents, educators, scientists and health care professionals. These solutions could involve testing options in lieu of automatic 10-day absences, or other measures deemed effective and safe for everyone concerned.

The bill requires approval from the 10-member Legislative Council in order to be considered during the upcoming legislative session. Concerned parents and citizens are encouraged to contact legislative leaders to urge that they allow it to be considered this session.

Rep. Dustin M. White

Mars Hill