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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Back to in-school learning in 100 days?

President Joe Biden's COVID-19 response and preparedness plan includes the lofty goal; Shelby Co. Schools wants to stick with the science.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — President Joe Biden is wasting no time.

He's getting right to work with several plans of action.

One of the biggest undertakings from his National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness plan is getting kids back in schools full time all in a matter of 100 days.  

It's certainly an ambitious goal. Are schools on board?

Shelby County Schools said "We support the sense of urgency and welcome a prioritized strategy to reopen buildings when it's safe in our community. We agree, a return to buildings should be a goal rather than a fixed target".

Biden's plan comes directly from the White House.

It says, "The president will issue Executive Order Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers which directs a national strategy for safely reopening schools."

His team will rely on the Department of Education and Health and Human Services to drive this mission.  

The plan does not lay out a specific date of when schools must return.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee is pushing for school districts to require in-school learning for at least 70 days this school year, or risk losing state funding.

Gov. Lee said, "With extended time outside of the classroom we face a 50% drop in reading proficiency and a 65% drop in math proficiency with third-grade students."

In a video posted to twitter on Tuesday, the Republican governor blamed students' struggles with reading and math on virtual learning.

In response, SCS superintendent Dr. Joris Ray tweeted out his message, driving home the district is following the science and encouraging mask wearing and waiting for teachers to receive the vaccine.  

While it's unclear how the Biden administration will carry out this 100 days goal, SCS is airing on the side of safety and following Shelby County Health Department Directives and CDC guidelines.