COVID-19 Cases in Tennessee Schools Still Unknown
Janae' Cotton, MTN Reporter
September 9th, 2020
As the new school year starts and thousands of parents send their children back to school many fear whether they will be notified when coronavirus hits their schools.
The Tennessee Department of Education recently failed to release the number of cases linked to the virus despite Gov. Bill Lee announcing a plan to allow schools to publicly share the number of active COVID-19 cases.
Last week Gov. Bill Lee tweeted, “Next week, @TNedu will begin reporting COVID-19 data by school. We’ve worked hard to ensure parents have the information they need while maintaining privacy protections for students and teachers.”
TDOE announced that the dashboard was supposed to launch Tuesday and would include the amount of active cases among students and staff per school across the state.
Gov. Lee is still working to report the information to promote public safety, while trying to balance transparency. However, because of the restrictions of the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) the dashboard has been delayed.
According to the Associated Press, to ensure privacy, schools with fewer than 50 students will not be included in the data reporting, and schools reporting fewer than five positive students or employees will be displayed as having active cases but without revealing specific numbers.
With uncertainty how the remainder of the school year will go parents will require information to make an informed decision whether to enroll their students online or in person classes.