Governor Ivey reviewing health safety proposal from state leaders for back-to-school

Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State leaders are one step closer to finalizing the plan and securing the money to help bring your child back to school safely.

Governor Ivey gave state Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey until Friday to submit a proposal on health safety for schools along with a funding request.

The governor’s office confirmed to WBRC that they did get that request. WBRC is still working to get a copy of the document.

Dr. Mackey declined interviews with the media Friday saying he wanted to give Governor Ivey a chance to look at the plan first, but his Communications Director released a statement saying

“Although the ALSDE submitted its initial Roadmap to Reopening Schools in June, we adhered to a recent request by Gov. Ivey to explore the content of an additional plan proposed by state legislators and the Alabama Association of School Nurses. Governor Ivey asked that a modified proposal be submitted to her by today, Friday, July 17, 2020. The ALSDE submitted the modified plan to the Governor on Thursday, July 16. State Superintendent, Dr. Eric Mackey has opted to allow ample time for the Governor and others to review the modified proposal before speaking about it or providing the document publicly. Early next week, once the plan has been reviewed, we will announce an opportunity for the press to have their questions answered.”

That additional plan was discussed at Tuesday’s school board work session. The senators say their $150 million plan would put a nurse in every school, build a free-standing quarantine isolation unit at every school, and get equipment for temperature screenings and COVID testing at schools.

We did speak with Dr. Mackey following Tuesday’s work session about preparing a final plan for release.

“Very excited about it because I think the governor was clear that we have federal money and she wants to make sure that we spend that in a way that best supports wellness and supports our children and our local schools,” said Dr. Eric Mackey on Tuesday.

In a previous interview, Dr. Mackey said he had already submitted a plan to the state asking for $50,000 in federal money to get ready for the year. He said his plan does overlap with the one proposed by the senators, so we could see a combination of the two in the final proposal.

Gov Ivey said she is going to take the weekend to thoroughly review what’s been submitted and both she and state school board leaders tell WBRC they hope to have an update in the coming days.

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