AFT President Randi Weingarten Says Educators Remain Confused over CDC Guidance on School Reopening, Nothing Is Off the Table for Teachers if Schools Aren’t Safe
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the follow statement today in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance on reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
“The CDC may have changed its tone to accommodate President Trump’s whims, but the details of its guidance remain the same: Schools cannot reopen safely and equitably until we have effectively contained the virus spread and have a robust testing system, a plan for a future surge, and appropriate safety protocols in place, including physical distancing, proper ventilation, deep cleaning procedures and adequate personal protective equipment. Of course, every educator, principal and superintendent in America will tell you that none of this can happen without resources. The CDC could really help parents and educators by issuing a clear set of protocols and making it easier to navigate, instead of offering endless checklists that send people searching for answers.
“Educators want to be back in their classrooms—and they agree with the CDC that remote learning isn’t ideal—but the safety and health of students and staff must be paramount, particularly given the surge of COVID-19 in the South and West, and the new research about young people spreading the virus. Let’s stop the debate about whether safety matters and start rolling up our sleeves so we get the resources to meet the needs of students, whether we are teaching remotely or in person.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.