Press Release

Educators and School Staff Respond to White House Testing Plan, Tout Safety Measures to Keep School Buildings Open Safely

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:

“In-school learning is vitally important for our kids’ social and emotional well-being, academic recovery and advancement. So, every time we get thrown a COVID-19 curveball, we lean into the safeguards and mitigations that help keep everyone—our students, parents and school staff alike—safe and healthy.

“Since the onset of this pandemic, we have advocated for testing as an early warning sign to limit outbreaks and community spread. With the Omicron surge, testing availability becomes a necessity, but unfortunately, testing access is increasingly limited. Thankfully, the Biden-Harris administration is stepping up to turn that around.

“As we wait for the evidence of the effects of the Omicron variant, the facts remain: Safety precautions are the tool to keep things open, whether it’s schools or anything else. It’s more important than ever to get vaccinated and boosted, test regularly, mask up indoors and maintain proper ventilation—that’s how we keep our communities safe and our schools open for in-person learning. That safety is everyone’s collective responsibility, not just our beleaguered medical system, and we must work together to minimize risk and keep our loved ones healthy.”


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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.