Reopening New Jersey: School district votes for all remote learning, citing teacher shortage

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Sonia Rincon reports on the New Jersey school district starting the academic year with 100% remote learning.

ELIZABETH, New Jersey (WABC) -- A school district in New Jersey announced it will start the academic year with 100% remote learning, despite a directive from Governor Phil Murphy for all districts to have plans for both in-person and virtual instruction.

Officials with the Elizabeth School District say 375 of its teachers have said they will not return to the classroom because of coronavirus fears.

The district says that makes in-person classes a "mathematical impossibility."

The school board voted Monday night to begin the school year next month with all remote classes, and its buildings will remain closed due to the teacher shortage.

The district's plan goes against state guidelines and will need approval by the state Department of Education.

An administration official said Tuesday the goal remains for school districts to offer in-person learning. Several districts, including Jersey City and Elizabeth, have indicated they will not be able to start the school year with in-person learning, which would be in conflict with the state's current guidelines.

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to discuss it on Wednesday.

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