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Press Release

JOINT STATEMENT: Educators and parents respond to Trump push to reopen schools

A joint statement from the National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association, American Federation of Teachers, Council of Administrators of Special Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and National Association of State Directors of Special Education on President Trump's failure to address the needs of students in his reopening plan.
Published: 07/07/2020

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

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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.

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.