Pritzker announces statewide K-12 school closures until end of March


Daily file photo by Emma Edmund

Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker announced Friday that schools across the state would close until March 30 to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Jacob Fulton, Assistant City Editor

COVID-19 News

All schools, both public and private, will be closed across the state from Tuesday until the end of the month in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a Friday press conference.

The cancellations were followed by an announcement that 14 more coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Illinois, bringing the total across the state to at least 46.

School districts across the state have independently made the decision to close, including Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202. Both announced closures and a shift to online learning until April 12, longer than Pritzker’s announced deadline, in Thursday news releases.

Pritzker’s announcement, however, requires that all schools stay closed until March 30. The closure includes all of Chicago Public Schools. As of this morning, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had no plans to close the entire district despite mounting pressure from groups including the Chicago Teachers Union, though she had instructed the schools to scale back on large-scale public events.

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery also released a statement in favor of the statewide closures on Friday afternoon, saying the group plans to work with the governor’s office to support schools across the state.

“This is (a) historic and difficult decision, but it is the responsible action to ensure the health of our students, faculty, staff, and communities,” Montgomery said in the statement.

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