State Senate Votes To Require In-Person School

Starting Next School Year

February 02, 2021 - 5:17 pm

Andy Doernen/Newsradio WRVA


Richmond, Va. ( - In a vote that did not purely split along party lines, State Senators voted to require all public school districts to offer virutal AND in-person schooling next year.  Several school districts have been mostly virtual this year, and a few, like Fairfax and Richmond, have been completely virtual.

Sen. Chap Peterson (D-Fairfax) is one of the senators pushing to reopen school buildings.  Peterson says kids are being hurt academically and socially by being isolated at home.  Peterson says the Commonwealth provides funding for the districts and should have a say in reopening.  Another supporter, Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland), blames teacher's associations for the decisions to stay virtual, saying they groups are using reopening as a bargining chip in contracts.

However, Sen. Jennfier McClellan (D-Richmond) says re-opening will also require a lot of additional funding.  The Democrat, who is running for Governor, says schools were being underfunded pre-Covid, and teachers were begging parents for cleaning supplies. 

The bill now heads to the House of Delegates, where it faces an uncertain future.