CEA and other members of a coalition of unions representing over 60,000 public education employees issued the following response to state guidance yesterday regarding local school building COVID-19-related closures.
The joint memo from the commissioners of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and Department of Public Health (DPH) contradicts our “core principles” for assuring students’ and staff members’ health and safety. Worse, their guidance threatens to inhibit, not help, local district administrators in developing an appropriate response to spiking COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) cases in their communities.
We made our position clear this past summer, before this unprecedented back-to-school season. Districts statewide should implement hybrid or fully remote learning models unless they can demonstrate consistent adherence to minimum standards for full in-person instruction.
Up to this point, far too many local administrators and health departments in communities across Connecticut have failed to live up to this common-sense requirement. Yesterday’s memo from Commissioner Cardona and Commissioner Gifford will not only allow those dangerous decisions to stand, but actually encourages more of the same.
Connecticut’s students, their educators and school support staff deserve better.