Mullery, Carroll call for Gov. Wolf to mandate statewide school district closures to stop spread of COVID-19

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, and state Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Luzerne/Lackawanna, are calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to grant public schools statewide the authority to close effective Monday, March 16 or at the discretion of the local district officials to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Mullery said the action Wolf has taken in Montgomery County, which currently has the most presumptive cases of COVID-19, need to be taken statewide to keep students, faculty and staff safe from the virus.

Mullery said further that school superintendents were on a conference call this morning with the state Department of Education and Wolf’s administration but no authorization to close districts was granted to school leaders.

“School districts in certain counties across the state, have made the decision to close Monday and I expect others to follow,” Carroll said. “It’s imperative the Pennsylvania Department of Education immediately allow the use of alternative learning days and vigorously pursue the cancellation of assessment tests including PSSA tests. By doing so, student instruction can immediately resume once schools reopen.”

Both Mullery and Carroll said that ordering statewide school district closings will help concerned parents who are not sure if they should be pulling their kids out of school over COVID-19.