Mount Airy school system gains funding for pandemic-related bus safety pilot program | Local News

Mount Airy City Schools has been chosen for a pilot program aimed at making the school bus ride safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third round of state COVID-19 relief legislation, which cleared the General Assembly in House Bill 1105 on Thursday, provides $115,000 to the state Department of Public Instruction to establish the Smart School Bus Safety pilot program.

The Mount Airy system was chosen in part because about 1,300 of its 1,700 students are being instructed in-class during the 2020-21 school year. About 500 students are bus riders, according to system Superintendent Kim Morrison.

The program would begin Nov. 23 and end on Jan. 1, 2024. The funding is required to be spent by Dec. 30. When the program concludes, the system would keep the equipment.

According to the bill, the purpose “is to transform and improve the transportation of public school students through technology in response to

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Biden and Trump battle over pandemic-related school closures.

“Let me be clear,” Biden said, in his second speech in three days taking direct aim at his Republican opponent. “If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open. And they’d be open safely.”

The speech marked another attempt by Biden to emphasize Trump’s response to the global pandemic, the issue that Biden’s campaign believes will guide voters’ decisions more than any other.

White House advisers and Trump campaign officials reiterated Wednesday that Trump was pushing to reopen schools — a position they still view as politically advantageous — and they are moving to heighten demands that local districts begin in-person instruction.

Trump administration officials are considering allocating Abbott machines for rapid testing to states based on the number of students attending school this fall, giving states an incentive to put more students in classrooms, a person familiar with

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