Gov. Kim Reynolds signs proclamation outlining the framework for Iowa schools to return in the fall


In a press conference July 17, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation outlining the framework for conditions under schools to move to remote learning. 

Amber Mohmand

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday that in-person learning must be a priority for core academic subjects such as science, math, reading and social studies.

“The Legislature has made it clear that most schools cannot provide more than half of their instruction to any student through remote learning unless I authorize remote learning in a proclamation,” Reynolds said.

In a press conference Friday, Reynolds said she signed a proclamation, which was not immediately available, that outlined the framework for conditions under schools to move to remote learning. 

“I hear very real and legitimate concerns from educators and parents on a regular basis,” Reynolds said. “But make no mistake, there is no profession that is more critical. Iowa’s future and present success than the educators who are shaping our next generation of leaders, innovators, as well as our workforce educators have always been essential. […]  We won’t be able to completely prevent transmission of COVID-19, but taking these precautions can greatly reduce the risk.”

The proclamation will allow remote learning if the parents select remote learning as “the best option for their family,” when the state department of education and the Iowa Department of Public Health approve a temporary move to online learning for an entire building or district because of public health concerns or when a school, in consultation with the state, determines that classes should be moved online.

The proclamation will also direct state agencies, school districts and local governments to focus on preparing to safely welcome back students and teachers to school in person.

Additionally, the proclamation addresses concerns among the teacher workforce. 

“It takes a number of steps to address concerns about our teacher workforce, including, removing limitations on how often and long substitute teachers can keep expanding the pool of Iowans who are eligible to serve as substitute teachers to include career and technical teachers already in the classroom, parent educators and those with an associate’s degree or at least two years of college courses,” Reynolds said. “In summary, we’re working hard at the state level to ensure that local school districts have the resources and the expertise that they need to meet the challenges of today’s of today’s COVID-19 world. So again I know this is not going to be easy. I know that it’s going to require some changes to how things are done in the classroom, but given the importance of education to our children to people around the world we owe it to them to just roll up our sleeves and get our schools, back up and running safely and effectively”