Governor closes public schools until April 17

Published 11:39 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

The governor has announced that Mississippi schools will be closed until April 17.

Gov. Tate Reeves signed an executive order earlier today to close all public schools.

“That will give us four weeks to evaluate further the effect of this particular virus,” he said in a press conference this morning. “I will tell you this is not a decision that I take lightly. In fact, in my nearly 17 years of serving the public this is perhaps the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. The reason it’s such a hard decision is because I know it is difficult for Mississippi families when schools are shut down and also know that if we have our kids in our classrooms we’re more likely to get more learning accomplished.”

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Reeves said he made the decision because he believes it’s in the best interest.”

He encouraged students to continue their education at home during this break.

“I have talked to education officials around our state and they are already being innovative in finding ways to ensure that our kids are continuing to learn during the school closure, everything from online learning to distance learning to delivering supplies to our students around the state.”

Reeves will also relax testing requirements as well as accountability to school districts.

“I will give maximum flexibility to the Mississippi State Board of Education to ensure that they can waive any rules or regulations that they have in place and that would make it harder for our kids to learn over the next several days and weeks and months,” he said.

He also guaranteed educators their paychecks “in a timely manner to ensure that there is no disruption of cash flow.”

He urged all Mississippians to stay calm.

“This is not a time for us to panic, it is a time for us to recognize that we are in unprecedented, unchartered waters, but we will get through it we will get through it because we are Mississippians. We will get through it because we are resilient. We will get through it because we are all dedicated and committed in our classroom though the next several months,” he said.