As Virginia schools close, parents worry how they’ll balance careers, child care

As Virginia schools close, parents worry how they’ll balance careers, child care
"I guess I'm gonna be taking on a role as a teacher, which I'm not prepared for by any stretch of the imagination," said Courtney Martin. (Source: WDBJ7)

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Friday afternoon, Gov. Ralph Northam declared Virginia’s public schools closed for two weeks, starting March 16. The decision wasn’t unexpected but has many parents worried about how they’re going to make ends meet, and provide for their children.

"I guess I'm gonna be taking on a role as a teacher, which I'm not prepared for by any stretch of the imagination," said Courtney Martin.

Martin is studying to be a nurse and has two jobs she holds down to make ends meet. With schools closed, she says she’s going to have to give both of them up to watch her two kids full time.

"Personally, I can't afford it at all really," she said.

It's a dilemma parents across our region are facing Friday.

"It's a scary and it's a tough situation," said Jennifer Evans, another Roanoke mom.

Evans is giving up her photography business to care for her daughter, Abigail. She says she'll be spending the next two weeks trying to craft a good learning environment at home.

"When she gets up, you know, we'll do a little work, and play a little bit," Evans said.

Roanoke City and County schools say they’ll be distributing learning material online, on the phone, and through their school bus network. Evans says during this time, parents will need as much information as possible.

“Exactly how this is going to go? How are we supposed to teach them?”

But parents like Courtney Martin say that won’t be enough.

She says local government needs to step up and do more.

It’s not like people out here are asking for something for nothing. But when you’ve got parents that cant’ work at all, that means no income. So how are they supposed to get food? How are they supposed to pay their bills?

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