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Schools ordered to remain closed until end of academic year

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania schools will remain shuttered for the rest of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened thousands and caused hundreds of deaths statewide, under an order signed today by the state’s education secretary.

The extended shutdown order affects more than 1.7 million students in public and private K-12 schools. It means children will spend the rest of the year learning remotely.

The order applies through the last day of the current academic year, a date that varies among districts because calendars are set by school boards.

“While this was a critical step for us to take to protect as many people as possible, it was not an easy decision to make,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.

He made the decision after consulting with Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and Dr. Rachel Levine, the state health secretary, Wolf’s spokeswoman said Thursday.

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