SLC School District defends online-only classes after remarks by Lt. Gov.

Sep 30, 2020, 5:24 PM | Updated: 5:24 pm
Utah Schools COVID-19...
School is back in session today for most districts across the state, which has some worried about a potential spike in coronavirus cases following Thanksgiving break. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Citing the lack of a statewide mandate dictating how and when public schools would reopen during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the district’s concern that families within their district boundaries have been hit “particularly hard” by effects of the virus, the Salt Lake City School District on Wednesday defended its decision to open in an “online only” capacity.

The comments were in response to Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, who said during the Utah Governor’s Debate on Tuesday that he questioned the District’s decision. Cox, a Republican, is running against Democratic opponent Chris Peterson to replace Gov. Gary Herbert.

“There are other things at play here that are damaging to our children besides the coronavirus,” Cox said during the debate.

“The coronavirus is absolutely important and we’re taking it very seriously. But the repercussions of not having kids in school can be just as significant and may be worse in some cases,” Cox said.

“In fact, many of our students are being left behind, especially those in low income area[s], students with disabilities. The Salt Lake City School District is the only school district in the state that has not gone back to in-person learning, and that’s a huge mistake.”

Two months ago, the Salt Lake City School District School Board voted 6-1 to offer online classes only when the school year began. At that time, interim Superintendent Larry Madden admitted that some parents wanted classes on campus. He said at that time that protecting students and staff was their overriding concern.

After Lt. Gov. Cox’s comments at the debate, Madden again defended the district’s decision.

“State leaders have chosen not to issue statewide mandates to guide our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Madden said in a statement. “Touting a belief in local control, they have instead left crucial parts of Utah‘s public response up to locally elected government leaders, including locally elected school boards.”

Madden also noted that schools in other Utah school districts have had to temporarily close down or move to hybrid online/in-person schedules when cases of COVID-19 reached pre-determined levels. 

“While several schools across the county have experienced local COVID-19 outbreaks, our students have continued to safely learn online,” Madden said.

The District says it will “continue to let local conditions and local data guide decisions made in the best interest of students in the Salt Lake City School District.”

Today’s Top Stories


utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
24 days ago
COVID-19 testing kits...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The complicated tale of COVID-19 test kits

What's so complicated about COVID-19 test kits? Mostly, the expiration date. It's a puzzle that nobody seems able to solve.
2 months ago
moderna young kids...

Moderna seeks to be 1st with COVID shots for littlest kids

The company hopes the FDA will rule in time for young children to start getting their low-dose vaccinations by summer.
2 months ago
New eligibility rules for pandemic-EBT program...
Waverly Golden

New eligibility guidelines for Pandemic-EBT

Utah households will have to apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits with their local school by May 6 to possibly receive Pandemic-EBT.
2 months ago
Eighth grade students and their teacher wear masks during their dual language class at Mount Jordan...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Bill that would allow parents to sue teachers over curriculum substituted during general session

The part of a bill that would have included the ability for parents to sue teachers if they didn't like what was on the lesson plan is being substituted on Utah's Capitol hill. 
5 months ago
The Salt Lake School Board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers....
Martha Harris, Paul Nelson, and Kira Hoffelmeyer

42 teaching positions eliminated in SLC from decline in student enrollment

The board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
SLC School District defends online-only classes after remarks by Lt. Gov.