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Press Release

New CDC guidance is first step, now leaders must make the investments to keep educators and students safe

Leaders cannot pick and choose which guidelines to follow and which students get resources to keep them safe
Schools hould be the safest place in any community
Published: 02/12/2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an operational strategy guide for K-12 schools to help communities move toward the safe delivery of in-person instruction.  

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:  

“Schools should be the safest place in any community. Now that we have clearer CDC guidance, state and local decision makers need to be able to look educators, students, and parents in the eyes and ensure that with full confidence.  

"Educators have been failed by too many politicians who have defied common sense, ignored health and science, and divided communities. Now, with a partner in the White House, we have the opportunity to do this right, to do it safely, and to do it as quickly as resources allow. Congress must invest in America and provide the funding and resources that our students, educators, and families need.  

“We must also recognize that CDC standards still aren’t being met in too many of our schools. Many schools, especially those attended by Black, brown, indigenous, and poor white students, have severely outdated ventilation systems and no testing or tracing programs. State and local leaders cannot pick and choose which guidelines to follow and which students get resources to keep them safe. And too many schools do not have in place the basic protections that the CDC has said are universally required.  

“Today, the science continues to back what educators, families, and health experts have been saying for months: we can and must provide students the opportunity to return to in-person learning, but we also must ensure that every school has the resources to put in place the effective measures to keep students and educators safe. The new CDC guidance is a good first step, but now it’s time for action.  If they are applied universally in every community and the resources are put in place equitably for all students, our school buildings will be safe for in-person learning.” 

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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 and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at



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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.