WBUR – Public schools in Massachusetts will have to begin offering in-person learning to elementary school students five days a week next month.

It’s the first decision education Commissioner Jeff Riley made under new authority approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Friday afternoon, by a vote of 9-3. Under the regulation change, Riley can determine when remote-only education will no longer be an option for districts.

“The time is now to bring our kids back to school,” said Riley during Friday’s meeting.

State officials said the plan to open classrooms for elementary students would allow districts who have been remote-only for most of the school year to take a more graduated approach to fully reopening their buildings. Parents would still have the option to choose remote learning for their children through at least the end of this school year.

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