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June 28, 2020Jefferson City, Mo. |  By: AP

State: Local officials to make school decisions amid virus

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The leader of the Missouri department of education says most decisions about how schools will reopen during the coronavirus pandemic will be left to local officials.

Margie Vandeven said during a news conference Thursday that local officials will have to consider such issues as whether masks will be required, class sizes and how to improve the "digital divide," which made it difficult for one in five Missouri students to access online learning.

Vandeven says the state education department will reduce its use of attendance numbers to calculate school funding. That would include doing away with perfect attendance awards to encourage students who are sick to stay home.