The current phase of Ohio’s vaccination program includes K-12 teachers and other school staff in an effort to get kids back into the classroom as soon as possible.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine held a last-minute press conference Friday night to address school districts in the state who are not returning to in-person classes by the agreed-upon March 1 start date.
Earlier this year, DeWine asked districts to be back in school full-time or in a hybrid model no later than that date.
In exchange, the state would take some of the vaccine allotment and vaccinate teachers and other staff.
DeWine said all but one school district in Ohio originally agreed to these conditions. But the governor said they have learned some will break the commitment.
“[This is] not just a commitment to me, but also to the children of their districts. This is simply not acceptable. This is about the kids,” he said.
The governor said the state has finished vaccinations in Cincinnati Public Schools, but one school, Walnut Hills High School, will remain remote the entire year.
He also said employees in the Akron School District have been vaccinated but will not return until March 15.
“It’s important for our kids to get back in the classroom when their parents are ready to send them back. Kids are falling behind. There are social and mental health consequences. That’s why we prioritized vaccines for schools. Otherwise, they’d go to a more vulnerable group,” DeWine said.