Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont pushed for schools to reopen for in-person learning during a news conference Tuesday, saying he knows the state can bring students back safely.
"If Connecticut can't get their kids back into the classroom safely, no state can," the governor said, citing the state's hard work in wearing masks and social distancing.
"We've kept our infection rate one of the lowest in the country, and I think we've earned the right, and our kids have earned the right to be able to go into a classroom and see their friends, be with a teacher, and to have real in-classroom education," Lamont said.
Lamont appeared alongside Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and other educators from the Winchester school district, which is offering full in-person learning to students when the school year starts August 31. There is an option for full remote learning for those families who choose it.
Lamont said he believes students can be brought back safely based on the current public health conditions in the state.
"I wouldn't be opening my school in southern Florida. I wouldn't be opening school in Texas or Phoenix or South Central LA. But I would do it in Connecticut. I would do it right here," Lamont said.
Winchester Schools Superintendent Melony Brady-Shanley said most parents want their children to return for in-person classes, based on the results of a survey the district conducted. According to Brady-Shanley, 76% of families are opting for in-person learning, 22% for temporary distance learning and 2% for homeschooling.
"We expect that education is going to look different. However, different isn't necessarily a negative," Brady-Shanley said. "[Kids] need and benefit from in-person instruction."