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St. Paul, MN  (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester lawmaker wants to strip the governor of his authority to close schools.

Republican State Senator Carla Nelson has introduced a bill that would prohibit any governor from using executive orders to close schools or alter school schedules. The legislation would trim the governor’s emergency powers and leave the decisions up to individual school districts.

“We have to think about what is best for students above all. At this point in the pandemic, there is widespread agreement about the importance of getting students back into the classroom,” said Sen. Nelson. “Our 300 school districts and 100 charter schools are diverse in every way; each district has unique needs and circumstances. The decision on how and when to reopen should not be made from the governor’s office. It should come from local school boards and community leaders. They are the ones who know what is best for their students. They should be given the option to decide how and when to open their schools.”

In introducing the legislation, Senator Nelson cited a number of reports that have found no clear link between reopening schools and COVID-19 outbreaks along with reports detailing the detrimental impacts of keeping students away from the classroom.

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