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Des Moines says no to governor’s demand for classroom return

A sign displaying "wear a mask" sits in front of the Jesse Franklin Taylor Education Center, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.
A sign displaying "wear a mask" sits in front of the Jesse Franklin Taylor Education Center, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 11:13 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A dispute between Iowa’s governor and the state’s largest school district could mean summer school for students and crippling bills for the school system.

Des Moines school officials have repeatedly refused to abide by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' order that districts hold at least half their classes in-person, saying it’s not safe. After the district last week again voted to violate Reynolds' order, the governor called their action “unacceptable.”

The state Education Department is beginning the process for punishing the district. If they find the district is out of compliance, state officials could take a variety of actions, including requiring the district to keep students in classes until the end of June. Each additional day would cost the district about $1.5 million.

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