Centralia Lawmaker Decries Proposal to Reduce In-Class Instruction by Full Day

Legislature: Sen. John Braun Says Legislation Codifying Remote Learning Would Create ‘Unnecessary Hardship for Families Already Struggling to  Pay The Bills’


Senate Minority Leader Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, said Monday that a new bill requiring school districts allow up to a full day per week of “asynchronous learning,” or remote learning, would create an “unnecessary hardship for families already struggling to pay the bills.”

Senate Bill 5735, set Wednesday for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education, would cost K-12 students 20% of “critical instructional time without a legitimate reason,” Braun said in a news release.

“Parents should find it alarming that anyone would propose taking away one-fifth of our kids’ instructional time just as teachers and students are trying to regain academic and psychological ground lost during a year of remote learning and isolation,” Braun said in a statement Monday.

“Most disturbing is the idea that students and teachers would not be required to communicate during this remote learning time. Teachers are paid to teach. Is it  fair that they be paid for five days a week if they spend only four days with their students?” Braun continued.

Braun said allowing students one full day of remote learning would leave parents struggling to find affordable child care, and that those caregivers may likely not be qualified to help with public school instruction.

“In his state-of-the-state remarks this past week the governor acknowledged the importance of in-person instruction when he called for empowering educators to address how students have lost educational opportunities because of the pandemic. I don’t see how this bill would accomplish that. It’s too wide open, with zero mention of a pandemic, or public health, or even trying to help small rural school districts recruit teachers,” Braun said.

“The K-12 reforms passed five years ago were showing promise before the pandemic, but there still were improvements needing to be made. SB 5735 would do nothing to address those needs, and it would take our state a huge step backward when we’re already needing to catch up. It’s a huge mistake,” he continued.