‘We knew distance education is not a good option,’ says the US Federation of Teachers’ Vengarten
Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Sunday that he needed to “debunk” the myth that teacher unions did not wish to reopen schools and for failing to prioritize vaccines in Los Angeles Took a swipe at Gavin Newsome of the California Government. Angeles – But dodged on whether students would be able to completely resume person-instruction this school year.
“I want to debunk the myth that teachers unions, at least our unions, do not want to reopen schools,” Wengarten told NBC News. “Teachers know that person education is really important and we would have said that pre-epidemic. We knew that distance education is not a good option.”
“Wouldn’t the whole school be inaugurated this school year?” NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked.
“What does it mean to open a full school? If you make a six-foot physical mess, you’re essentially saying in a school that you’ll be around 50 or 60% of the people at any one time. Not 100%.” “Vengarten replied. “The issue really becomes, do we have 30% more space, do we have 30% more teachers. What I think we need to do is we really need to get as many people as possible right now Necessity. There is a real great summer semester to get the kids back in a voluntary way and then actually planning for next year. “
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President Biden has vowed to open a majority of K-8 schools by their 100th day on April 30. But the school’s new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday may delay the person’s return. even further. Using the latest science and data available on COVID-19, Operational strategy for phased mitigation This includes guidance on masking, physical disturbances, hand washing and respiratory etiquette, ventilation and building cleanliness and contact tracing.
Critics have accused the White House of pressuring teachers’ unions and the CDC for accepting their advice.
“You can see, as unions have stepped in and said they don’t want in-class learning, you’ve pressured the White House’s CDC for guidance that was very clear.” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., Said in an interview with ABC News “This Week” on Sunday.
“Our kids can’t wait,” Scalise said. “They need to be in the classroom today. Science says they can be in the classroom today. The question is whether there is willpower in Washington for some politicians who are bowing to teacher unions right now?”
Wengarten said Biden is trying to get the latest guidance from the CDC and resources into a $ 1.9 trillion package that creates a “roadmap” for defining risks that are mitigated by three factors: layered mitigation strategies, testing asymptomatic To track dissemination and vaccine priority.
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“There’s a roadmap now, and so you can follow that roadmap in terms of really defining those risks,” Vengarten said an interview With NBC anchor Chuck Todd. “It is not the case that every single teacher should be vaccinated before opening any school, but you should align the vaccine priority with the reopening of schools.”
The leader of one of America’s largest teacher unions, Wayington said New York City, home to the nation’s largest public school system, has set a positive example for the rest of America to follow.
“There’s no perfect solution, but frankly I think New York City has done a great job as far as showing the way. Big school district. Lots of issues in terms of old buildings and we learned a lot from New York City . In September and October, “Vengarten said.
Vengarten said that a recent survey showed that 85% of its members would be comfortable in school if they had testing, layered mitigation and vaccine priority like New York City.
She Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, was also praised, who actually ensured that every teacher and school employee who wanted the vaccine had been vaccinated in the past few weeks. Resuming plans executed by Ohio Gov. Mike Devine, a Republican, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, was also praised by Weigton, who then took aim at how Newsom is dealing with the response to the epidemic. in California.
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“When I listen to politicians, when I listen to Gov. Newsom is saying you’re always going to find a way, why isn’t he really prioritizing teachers in LA where they stayed in the purple, purple area Are – not in the red zone? ”Weingarten said.
“I think the point is if the NFL can find out how it matters, in terms of testing and protocol, if schools are important, then do it. And my members want it, they just want to be safe. Huh.”
“You get what you seek, so if we don’t want to reopen the reasons, we’ll find a lot of reasons. But if we want to start strategizing our methods and getting those methods Wanting to go where we all want to be, we told Newsom in a recent interview, “It will be known.”
Asked if he asked for Fairfax, Va. Has supported local teachers unions that do not want to return to in-person instruction until all children are vaccinated, Weington said, “Teacher unions are not unbroken.”
“When you listen you hear that people are scared. We have to meet the fear with the facts, which is what we are trying to do. So we have Dr. Fausi for example in two town halls. ” Weingarten said. “We have a vaccine town hall with experts about it, and so as we are meeting the vaccine hesitancy with facts and evidence and data, we need to do the same in the context of teachers. We did our voting. What I have learned. And our experience also means that when people are actually in a school with protocols, they trust it more and then you just have to educate people that way. “
Weigton said 71% of its members fear they will bring COVID-19 home.
“Look, we have had 500,000 deaths and there are such serious facts here, but teachers in this country understand that person-education is really important, so ultimately, we need that kind of strategies.”
Granthshala News’ Avi Fordham contributed to this report.