What public schools superintendent will be brazen enough to shrug off Gov. Andy Beshear’s recommendation to delay in-person classes until Sept. 28?

Ashland Superintendent Sean Howard made a valid point earlier this week when he said he expected it to be a mandate instead of a recommendation.

“I think this just muddied the waters for a lot of districts,” Howard said.

What happens if a school doesn’t comply?

According to a survey conducted among Ashland Blazer parents, 70% want their kids to be in the building.

By making this recommendation, Beshear placed the onus on each individual school district’s leaders. Don’t they have enough on their plates?

There are still rural areas without good internet access, too, and families who don’t have reliable devices with which to work; not to mention parents who work day jobs who don’t have many supervising options for their children.

See? Superintendents, principals and teachers have enough to deal with.

If the governor — who, granted, has his plate full as well — firmly believes, based on experts’ advice, that virtual learning is the way to go, why not treat this issue as he did the masks and make it a mandate?

One may wonder, what about private schools?

Perhaps Beshear would be out of bounds to make such a mandate to these establishments, but he could have for public schools across the commonwealth.

Danville Christian Academy, for instance, reopened Wednesday to face-to-face instruction, according to the Herald Leader. The school has 215 students, with the largest class consisting of 20 students in a room, according to the newspaper.

Going forward, when Beshear makes a recommendation based on a public-health issue, he should contemplate going even further by making a mandate. It may not be the popular short-term move, but he proves to be right, he’ll be forever respected and admired.

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