Thursday, August 13, 2020

CTA : Schools Must Be Safe

CTA President E.Tobey Boyd. 
"We have said all along, California cannot reopen schools unless it is safe. That applies to all schools on county watch lists or not, and to schools districts seeking waivers from adhering to CDPH guidance, but counties are on that watch list for a reason. 

Governor Gavin Newsom was absolutely right when he emphatically said in Monday’s news conference that he doesn’t 'believe anyone should be forced to put their life and health at risk, period. Full stop.' 

Given the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, the record number of deaths in just the last month, the growing number of counties on the state watch list, and so many unknowns that threaten the long-term health and safety of students and educators, we believe we must take all precautions and preventative action to protect students, educators and our communities. 

And now, with the cases of children who have been infected with COVID-19 in childcare right here in California, in Texas, as well as the students in Georgia, we can NO LONGER SAY, kids aren’t transmitters. Granting waivers would further exacerbate the racial and economic inequities that exists in our schools and communities. Let’s not forget 30% don’t have access to technology—Wi-Fi and computers. 

This waiver guidance certainly expands on the footnote that was in the previous guidance, however, we cannot ignore the science-based directives that have put counties on a watch list. 

Educators want desperately to be back in classrooms and schools with their students doing the work they love, but there is too much at stake to ignore science, facts and safety. 

Unfortunately, many local districts and communities don’t have the necessary resources or capacity to maintain even the most basic prevention measures of six feet physical distancing and limiting contacts, much less the other important preventative actions such as personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and tracing, or adequate ventilation and cleaning supplies.

 It is clear that communities and school districts have not come close to meeting the threshold for a safe return to in-person learning. If any waiver is considered, per the guidance, the decision must be made with parents and educators.” - E Toby Boyd, CTA President

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