The clock is ticking for parents deciding if they want to send their children back to traditional schools or learn at home because of coronavirus.
On Tuesday, parents hoped the Alabama Board of Education would figure out how to help keep students safe and get the best education possible. That did not happen.
The board met Tuesday and spoke about the issues for more than six hours.
The board spent the first three hours arguing about safety steps but never reached an agreement. Fast forward a few hours and there’s still no set plan, just ideas and recommendations.
The board is arguing about the best ways to use about $100 million in federal funding to keep as many students and teachers Coronavirus free as possible, plans on what to do if anyone shows symptoms and how to make sure every family can access high speed internet.
Sen. Jim McClendon proposed a plan to put an isolation unit in each school across the state. Students suspected of having Coronavirus would be put in them until parents could pick them up from school. The state board of education argued a lack of nurses and other logistical issues could stop that from being realistic.
In terms of WiFi, State Superintendent Eric Mackey wants to spend $48 million to buy mobile hot-spots for schools. He introduced a list of steps to improve remote learning, including: getting electronic devices for students, training teachers, and improving connectivity in rural areas.
Back on the safety front, the state also ordered 2.5 million reusable masks for students and staff in schools.
Officials say the State Department of Education cannot require students to wear masks, but the state health officer, governor, local municipalities and local school boards can make that decision.
After a few hours, a lack of decisions started to frustrate people involved.
"It seems like there is a lack of leadership if we don't say something that's more concrete from the state board of education," said Alabama Board of Education member Tommie Stewart.
"Dr. Stewart, we don't have the legal authority to implement that. It would have to come from a governmental agency," said Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd.
After hearing comments from senators at the beginning of the meeting, Gov. Kay Ivey asked that Mackey revise the re-opening plan by this Friday.