BOTH LIVE NOW: Knox County boards of education and health meet simultaneously about pandemic

The Knox County Board of Education and Knox County Board of Health are both meeting this evening. Follow along with either of the streams below to watch live starting at 5 p.m. ET.

The Knox County school board will decide if it will outsource part of its virtual program tonight for the 18,000 students who are currently enrolled in the district’s virtual learning program. The district is considering a contract with Florida Virtual School. 

Prior to last week’s board work session, the district had told parents their virtual students would be taught by district teachers. The board’s decision could change that.

More: What we know about Florida Virtual School before a Knox County Board of Education vote

Superintendent Bob Thomas said there are 159 vacancies including certified and non-certified positions at last week’s meeting. He said the new program will be the equivalent of having 55-65 teaching positions but don’t directly translate to vacancies. That estimate is based off calculating students and class sections.

If approved, the contract would last until Aug. 9 2021. The district would not be allowed to spend more than $3 million on the partnership. Knox County Schools spokeswoman Carly Harrington told Knox News Tuesday night that ”more than 95 percent of the virtual courses will be taught by our own teachers.”

The Knox County Board of Health is also meeting this evening. 

One of the main items on the agenda tonight is the discussion on more measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 locally, including potentially limiting large groups again.

The Board of Health is set to meet at 5 p.m. ET. The stream will be added below once the meeting begins.

Seventy-four percent of Tennesseans surveyed say they support mask requirements in their local communities, according to a new survey by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Results show Tennesseans have an increasing concern for their safety as the coronavirus pandemic worsens across the state and country. It is the first time in the ongoing survey that the Baker Center’s polling has shown that the majority of Tennesseans are more concerned about health as opposed to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Read about the other important findings released Tuesday here.

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