NH Now: Chris Sununu 7-24-20

Gov. Sununu Answers Critics That His Back to School Plan Is Too Flexible, “The Governor, Sitting in His Corner Office, Isn’t Going to Dictate What Mrs. Smith Has to Do in Her Third Grade Class in Merrimack.”

In an interview with WKXL’s Chris Ryan, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu discusses the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases, and he strongly reacts to criticism of his plans to reopen schools this fall.

The Governor expects a surge in COVID cases this fall, but he is confident that we have enough testing capacity, PPE, and funding to deal with an increase.

There has been criticism that Governor Sununu’s back to school plan is too open ended and there will be a lack of uniformity from one town to another. The Governor responded that districts were given clear models for three types of plans: a fully in class model; a remote class model; and a hybrid model which combines in class and remote learning. Each district has been given the flexibility to choose the model which best suits their students. Governor Sununu asserts that his plan is the result of surveys where parents, teachers, and other stakeholders who overwhelmingly asked for a back to school plan which was flexible. He feels that much of the push back has been coming from the teacher’s unions.

In the final segment of the interview, the Governor was asked about how he would deal with the problem of students who have fallen behind in their learning as a result of last year’s school closing and the possibility of having more gaps in their education due to future closings. Governor Sununu believes that this is one of the main reasons why it’s important to reopen schools this fall. Teachers need to get to know their students and to assess if there are learning gaps. Special Education is an area of particular concern and where money has been set aside.