WASHINGTON - July 17, 2020 - NEA President Lily Eskelsen García released the following statement applauding Joe Biden’s Roadmap to Reopening Schools Safely, which his campaign released today:
“No one wants to be back in the classroom with our students more than educators. We love our students, our public schools, and our communities, and that is why across the nation educators are working with parents, health officials, and local leaders to craft careful plans for reopening school buildings in a manner that keeps students and educators safe.
“The safety of our students and educators shouldn’t be political, but sadly once again we see Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are playing politics with the lives of our students and educators by threatening to withhold funding from school that don’t give in to their bullying. They seem incapable of putting the safety of our kids ahead their shortsighted political goals. Trump and DeVos refuse to acknowledge that people are dying — that nearly 140,000 Americans have died and that millions more are suffering with the long-term health issues caused by COVID.
“Thankfully, today Joe Biden is again showing the nation what leadership looks like, laying out his roadmap to reopening schools safely that is grounded in science and puts the wellbeing of students and educators first. Biden is listening to parents and educators across the nation about how to reopen schools safely, while listening to the doctors and local public health officials to determine when and where it is safe to reopen school buildings.
“He knows, as students and educators return to the classroom, they will need masks and PPE. Schools will need hand sanitizing stations and specialized cleaning supplies, along with infrastructure changes to allow for social distancing and improved ventilation systems. And Biden understands that this will require the Senate to do its job by passing the critical HEROES Act funding.
“Most critically, Joe Biden knows that all students, whether they are Black, brown or white, must have the tools and resources necessary to succeed, which is why his plan calls for closing the equity gap in education to ensure all students have the best possible learning experience this fall.”
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.