WASHINGTON - July 07, 2020 - Six groups representing America’s educators and parents have released the following joint statement regarding the Trump administration’s push to reopen schools:
No one wants students to safely return to classrooms more than parents, educators and administrators. We also recognize that we must do it the safest way possible, not the most politically expedient way.
The White House and the CDC have offered at best conflicting guidance for school reopening, and today offered little additional insight. Without a comprehensive plan that includes federal resources to provide for the safety of our students and educators with funding for Personal Protective Equipment, socially distanced instruction, and addressing racial inequity, we could be putting students, their families, and educators in danger.
Throughout this pandemic, the administration has failed to address the needs of students, especially those students who need the most support. They have failed to listen to families and public school educators who have been on the frontlines serving their communities. This vacuum of leadership leaves this administration with zero credibility in the minds of educators and parents when it comes to this major decision. To safely re-open our schools, health experts should be relied on to figure out the “when” and educators and parents should be central to figuring out the “how.” Public school educators, students and parents must have a voice in critical conversations and decisions on reopening schools. The president should not be brazenly making these decisions.
As parents, educators and administrators, we want to do what is best for students, and we are fighting for what we need to reopen schools safely. This administration and Congress must do better to partner with us and lead.
National Education Association
National Parent Teacher Association
American Federation of Teachers
Council of Administrators of Special Education
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.
- Richard Allen Smith