The Berkshire Eagle reports Massachusetts districts look ahead to the state's April deadlines to bring elementary and middle school students back into classrooms, Gov. Charlie Baker believes debate over the safety of in-person learning "is pretty much over."

His administration's instructions to bring elementary schoolers back by April 5 and middle schoolers back by April 28 is realistic, Baker said in an interview with CBS Boston's Jon Keller that aired Sunday.

While some teachers unions have voiced concerns about educator safety and reopening some schools before all teachers have a chance to get vaccinated, Baker pointed to the negative effects of remote learning and a weekly pool testing program that nearly half of districts have embraced.

The administration and the Massachusetts Teachers Association traded barbs after Education Commissioner Jeff Riley set the April targets for resuming classroom learning, with MTA President Merrie Najimy arguing that the goal was "poorly timed" alongside the ongoing vaccine rollout and Baker's team urging the union to "do the math" about vaccine availability.


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