The AFT has focused for months on what it will take to reopen schools safely, specifically to ensure the safety and well-being of educators, students and our communities. Back in April, we issued our “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities.” It’s based on science and public health protocols as well as the expertise of educators, school staff and healthcare professionals.
As we necessarily adapt to changing conditions and new information about the coronavirus and its transmission, one thing must be enduring: We cannot follow the whims of politicians whose values and goals do not align with the common good. We must follow available science and public health guidance, and the expertise of educators and health practitioners, and we must be ready to adopt expert guidance as new evidence comes to light.
We know the best way for students to connect, learn and thrive is in person, in school. However, as important as in-person instruction is, safety comes first. Schooling is necessary, but school buildings have to be safe. Our early push to plan for reopening schools safely made this clear, as does our latest report on the cost of reopening, which continues to be referenced in the media.
You can find both reports here, as well as links to our reports on the importance of financial investment in public education in the time of COVID-19.