Wednesday, February 17, 2021
School Decisions Are Made by School Districts, Not the County
As more schools in New Jersey return to full or partial in-person classes, Atlantic County is receiving questions and concerns from parents, teachers and school administrators.
County Executive Dennis Levinson reminds residents that any decision to close schools, offer remote learning or return to the classroom is made by the individual school districts, not the county.
“I’ve personally received calls about different decisions by schools saying they were directed by the county,” stated Levinson. “Let me be clear. The county has no authority to make any decisions in this capacity. These individuals may be receiving information from the County Superintendent, but he is a state employee, not a county employee.”
“While the Atlantic County Division of Public Health has shared federal and state COVID-19 guidance and protocols with the schools, it is the state that has provided the standards for school compliance. How those standards are implemented is the decision of the individual school districts,” Levinson added.
According to the county executive, the most frequently asked question he receives is why parochial, charter or neighboring schools are open but their child’s school is closed. “It’s a good question.”
“Decisions for in-person, remote or hybrid learning vary among public, private and charter schools in the county. The common denominator is the county has no role in making rules for any of these schools.”
“We all want to ensure safe environments for our students and our teachers. Those who take issue with the standards should speak with the state Department of Education,” stated Levinson.