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Beshear could call special session on COVID restrictions, NTI days as early as Tuesday

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:06 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear said a special session will likely be called soon to discuss COVID restrictions.

“I believe that it is certainly possible that we will have a special session as early as Tuesday, but that’s not announcing that we are having one on Tuesday,” he said during his Thursday Team Kentucky update.

The governor said the Kentucky General Assembly needs to discuss different options for schools, including masks and virtual learning.

Beshear said the current system isn’t working.

This year, lawmakers passed a bill limiting districts to 10 days of Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI), but the general assembly could approve more virtual days.

NTI would only apply for entire districts, and if a school has an outbreak and is forced to close, days are added to the end of the school year. Some school districts have already used several NTI days.

The governor believes lawmakers can come to an agreement on the matter.

“I really don’t think there’s as much disagreement on that as we hear, as opposed to people trying to get to the same place in slightly different way,” he said. “All I care about is that it works, that a school that has a big COVID outbreak that kids are still learning the next day.”

Sharae Mansfield has two kids at two different schools. She’s frustrated with quarantine rules and hopes schools will be allowed to offer NTI.

“They’re limited on the amount of time that they can be out of school,” Mansfield said. “That’s like — it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Another parent, Danielle Rydberg, wants hybrid options because of the strain it can put on parents.

“I can’t imagine the moms and dads who have full-time jobs and can’t stay home with their kids,” Rydberg said. “Home by themselves, maybe they can’t afford childcare. That’s a scary, very, very frightening situation.”

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