JACKSON — Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced that Mississippi schools will remain closed for the next 4 weeks to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Working to take care of our children during this difficult time, Governor Reeves signed an executive order instructing the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to keep all public schools closed throughout the state until April 17, 2020.
The Governor made the announcement directly addressing Mississippi via Facebook Live.
“This is not a decision that I take lightly. In fact, in my nearly 17 years of serving the public, it is perhaps the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I made this decision because I believe it’s in the best interest of all of our fellow Mississippians. I know our teachers and our administrators will step up during these challenging times,” said Governor Reeves.
Governor Reeves also instructed each school district to continue operating with essential faculty and staff, whether working from home or in the workplace, to ensure essential functions are met and distance learning and other protocols are developed so as not to interrupt students’ education.
To remove some of the pressure on educators and students, the Governor is relaxing end-of-year testing requirements, as well as accountability measures, and giving maximum flexibility to the State Board of Education to waive any rules or regulations in place that make it harder for students to learn during this difficult time. Educators will also receive their regular salaries on time to ensure students are able to continue learning.
Over the weekend in a video address to the state, Governor Reeves asked that all schools stay closed for at least a week. Remaining in constant contact with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and MDE throughout the week, Governor Reeves determined the need to extend school closures to protect Mississippi children and their communities.
The Governor will continue working to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state and assess whether school closures should be extended further.