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Gov. Tim Walz set to make schools announcement in press conference

He's expected to announce that in-person classes won't resume this year.


Gov. Tim Walz is holding his second press conference in as many days at 2 p.m. Thursday, when he is expected to make an announcement about the remainder of the school year.

Schools have been closed for in-person classes since mid-March following the outbreak of COVID-19, and it's expected that Walz will confirm that in-person classes will not resume before the end of the school year.

Minnesota schools are currently under distance-learning measures until the end of the Stay at Home order on May 4, but the governor has previously said in media briefings that he doesn't think school will be able to resume.

Asked on Monday if schools or high school sports would be able to resume this school year, he said: "Unfortunately, I don't think so. I don't think you set unreasonable expectations with people.

"That breaks my heart ... thinking of all these kids out there. These kids put their whole life gaming for that opportunity to compete and maybe win a state championship or section championship, and to not see that is pretty disheartening, but I think the chances are pretty slim."

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WCCO political analyst Blois Olson told WCCO Radio on Thursday morning that Walz's message is expected to be along the lines of: "This is not what I wanted to to, it's just what's best for the health of our state."

The closure of schools and shift to virtual learning have been replicated across the world, sparking concern about access to education from among others UNESCO, which found that 50 percent of students across the globe don't have access to a computer, and 40 percent can't access the internet.

In the U.S., a Department of Commerce study found that 14 percent of school age children live in a home without high-speed internet, many of them in either rural areas that lack service or who are in low-income households.

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