Beshear signs bill giving relief to schools due to virus

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bill giving Kentucky's schools the latitude to use as many nontraditional instruction days as needed in response to the coronavirus outbreak was signed by Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday.

The proposal to give relief to school districts sped through the legislature with strong bipartisan support as lawmakers deal with the global pandemic's impact on Kentucky.

The governor recently asked superintendents to extend school closures until at least April 20 in an effort to help contain the virus.

During his daily coronavirus briefing, Beshear announced he had signed the legislation, which carried an emergency clause allowing it to take effect immediately.

"It provides relief for school districts due to this emergency," the governor said. "They'll have unlimited NTI days, ... they'll waive in-student person attendance requirements and ultimately help out our school system a lot."

Nontraditional instruction plans allow students to keep learning at home if schools close, with lessons often consisting of book work or online activities. Days using the plan don't have to be made up at the end of the year — preventing last days or graduations from being delayed.

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The legislation is Senate Bill 177.

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