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Parents faced with difficult decision of in-person vs. virtual learning as schools prepare to reopen

Many Indiana schools reopen at the end of this month, and parents are faced with the difficult decision of returning to schools or staying at home.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — As many schools across the U.S. and in Indiana prepare to reopen in the fall, parents are making tough decisions on whether to send their child back to school.

Do they opt for in-person learning or continue virtual learning?

"My son has actually told me anything I ask him to do, he will do, so that I'll let him go back to school,” said Deb Bagan of Brownsburg.

Bagan has two sons. One is in college, and the other is a freshman at Brownsburg High School.

School begins in Brownsburg July 30.

"He's been a champion at wearing a mask any time we've been out in public, and now he's even practicing wearing it longer while we're at home," Bagan said about her younger son, Zach.   

Bagan said she will allow her son to attend in-person classes at Brownsburg High School.

On Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed for schools to fully reopen or withhold funding.

"There is nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is dangerous to them and in fact, it's more a matter of their health and well-being that they be back in school," DeVos said in a press conference.

According to the CDC, when students meet in groups, for example, in full-sized in-person classes, they have a higher risk of spreading COVID-19.

DeVos said CDC guidelines are meant to be flexible.

"She wasn't advocating for any other solutions, and she also wasn't advocating for funding of the things the CDC is asking for in order to make those things possible," Bagan said, referring to more teachers, substitute teachers, cleaning supplies and PPE.

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In early July, nearly 4 percent of the Brownsburg school district's 9,300 students opted for virtual learning.

The school corporation’s website states that while precautions are in place, it's impossible to practice social distancing 100 percent of the time, especially while riding the school bus. Bagan said her son, Zach, won’t be riding the bus to school.

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