Governor Tim Walz recently signed an executive order directing the commissioner of education to provide a safe and effective summer learning environment for Minnesota’s students.

Minnesota’s public school districts and charter schools will have the option to offer summer learning through a hybrid model of distance learning and in-school learning or to continue distance learning.

“The safety and well-being of all Minnesotans is always our top priority,” said Walz. “By slowly turning the dial for school settings this summer, we can better serve Minnesota’s students and families and provide more opportunities for the in-person learning and social interactions that are critical for learning.”

This order will offer schools the flexibility for some in-person instruction if they are in compliance with Department of Health (MDH) guidelines on masking, social distancing, personal hygiene, screening and cleaning and adhere to MDH’s guidance for summer programs.

The public health guidance will help schools keep their students, their families and school staff safe and healthy while offering meaningful learning opportunities.

This model will give schools an opportunity to better support the students who have been struggling with distance learning, especially historically underserved students. These public health guidelines will also apply to summer programing outside of a school setting.

Today, the governor also announced his priorities for $91 million in federal funding Minnesota received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for children, students and families during the COVID emergency. 

The governor’s priorities for the funding are to increase student access to technology and summer school; support child care and programs providing care to workers in Critical Businesses; provide financial support and flexibility to child care providers; and help working families experiencing financial losses due to COVID-19.

“We must continue prioritizing Minnesota’s children and families through this crisis,” said Walz. “Through this funding for education and child care, we can get technology into the hands of students who do not have it, help child care stay open, and support working families who are struggling to afford the child care they need to safely return to work. Our children are our future and these federal dollars will be an investment in their success.”