ST. PAUL — With thousands of Minnesota students still in remote learning, House Republicans hosted a news conference on Feb. 11 to push for legislation that would empower local school districts to make the best decisions for their districts and remove the governor's ability to unilaterally keep schools closed.

A similar proposal cleared its first committee stop in the Senate earlier this month, and could come up for a vote in the coming weeks. District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) supported the measure.

“Many of our schools are open full-time, but far too many in the metro area are not,” Hamilton said. “Any closure decision should be made at the local level by the school district, not by anyone in St. Paul.”

Hamilton said the proposal failed after the House majority failed to support it.

As many Minnesota students are struggling academically and emotionally due to distance learning, Hamilton said it’s time to find ways to allow all teachers and students to safely return to the classroom.

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“Much like our health care workers, our teachers need to be prioritized for the coronavirus vaccine and we need to get all of our students back in schools full time as soon as possible,” Hamilton concluded.