The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was expected to vote Friday on emergency regulations that would grant State Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley the authority to determine when hybrid and remote models may no longer count towards required student learning time hours, and giving Riley emergency authority to reopen schools. Riley and health experts were expected to address the board members before casting their votes Friday afternoon.

In conjunction with Friday’s vote, a group of parents and citizens is submitting a petition which has been signed by nearly 10,000 concerned parents and citizens of Massachusetts.

You can view the petition by the group BringKidsBackMA here:

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As stated in the petition, signees are urging the state to mandate the re-opening of public schools in Massachusetts for full-time in-person learning, to issue revised guidelines that deal with the principal barriers precluding many districts from returning to in-person learning. and to hold districts accountable to reopening, requiring each public school to make a full return to in-person learning by April 1st, 2021 at the latest.

The petition asks Senate members to take the first step toward helping what the group refers to as the “struggling children of the Commonwealth” by voting in support of the authorization. They say that the science is clear, the data is in, and “children can no longer suffer at the hands of local control and inconsistent educational opportunities.”

According to the bio information provided by the group, Bring Kids Back MA is a fully parent-run group with no political affiliation or financial backing. The group was started by seven moms from across MA who have donated countless volunteer hours to this effort. The group has since grown to be the collective voice of thousands of parents across Massachusetts advocating to get children back into the classroom.

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