Republicans are watching closely to see if Governor Tim Walz meets his goal of having all Minnesota students back in the classroom five days a week by March 8th. Lino Lakes Senator Roger Chamberlain says:

“That’s the pressure, right? I mean, kids aren’t learning.   It’s clear they’re not learning… Not only have they not been learning,   but they’ve been incredibly depressed, and mental health has suffered.”

The governor agrees — but says he’s making sure students are safe when they return to the classroom:

“Get your kids tested.   Mine is an eighth-grader and is back at playing club sports, and we’re getting him tested after he does this, once a week or so, to make sure that that’s going well. And it is because these folks are doing the protocols and they’re making it work.”

The governor says the bulk of Minnesota educators will be vaccinated by March 8th which “will give another added protection.”

The governor says over 25 percent of educators have already been vaccinated against COVID and…

“We will have the bulk of our educators vaccinated by that March 8th deadline and that will give another added protection.”

Walz says testing for students age 12 to 25 will be available either at home or through local testing programs.

Republican Representative Ron Kresha from Little Falls says students at all grade levels can safely return to the classroom immediately:

“I think the governor’s role and the state’s role is, if an isolated incident happens or if there’s a hot spot, you step in, you deal with it.”

Kresha:

“The schools are prepared. They’ve been dealing with this for over a year. They know how to get their kids back in the classroom. Let’s let them do it.”