Illinois may require schools to return to full in-person learning this fall

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CHICAGO (WGN) — The Illinois State Board of Education may require all schools to return to full in-person learning next fall.

The state board will take a vote Wednesday morning. Chicago Public Schools has been planning for a full return to mostly in-person learning next year for months.

The state board says it got guidance from IDPH and cites the state should be in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan by mid-June, which would mean capacity limits for public gatherings would be lifted.

The resolution voted on Wednesday does not include a vaccine mandate, but does strongly encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated.

Currently, those 12 and older are able to get the Pfizer vaccine.

The state board’s resolution also mentions the rapid testing being done at schools across the state, testing for vaccines for kids younger than 12, as well as the benefits of in-person learning.

The state does carve out some exceptions for in-person learning, which include kids with medical conditions. A board spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune there is also some flexibility to offer remote learning to students on an individual basis.

Students in Winnebago County will return to in-person classroom learning this fall, according to new guidance released by the health department.

Billions in federal funding is expected to help schools districts across the state prepare to welcome kids back to school.

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