“Safe Schools for All Plan” is a Starting Point for Safe Reopening Decisions that Include Educators, Staff, Parents and Students
For Immediate Release
Contact: Matthew Hardy, 510-703-5291
Sacramento, CA — The California Federation of Teachers released the following statement from President Jeff Freitas on “California’s Safe Schools for All Plan” announced today by Governor Gavin Newsom, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond:
“CFT’s classroom teachers and school staff are grateful Governor Newsom has acknowledged our dedication to our students and our desire to safely resume in-person instruction. School employees have been working tirelessly to deliver both academic instruction and socio-emotional development remotely for the safety of our students and their families.
“Since March, teachers and classified professionals have worked overtime to provide the best education they can during this deadly pandemic. Where once we thought we might be back in person in weeks, we are now almost a year into remote learning. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 infection rates in California are so high that we are seeing ICU capacities in some regions at 0%. The reality of the state of the pandemic in California highlights what Superintendent Thurmond said today: ‘It is not a wasted [school] year: we are preserving life.’
“With a significant commitment of state funding, a priority on safety, and a framework for collaboration, we believe the “California’s Safe Schools for All Plan” is the starting point our state and its schools need to consider for in-person instruction as vaccines become available for educational employees. Each school community is different, and local plans that reflect local needs and that include the voices of experienced education professionals will be critical for success.
“With this plan as a starting point, the CFT looks forward to working with Governor Newsom, Superintendent Thurmond, and State Board President Darling-Hammond, parents, and local districts to ensure that schools reopen for in-person instruction in a way that demonstrates that safety is paramount and that our schools are funded at a level that supports needed testing, tracing, and PPE and high-quality instruction.”
The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT. More information at www.cft.org.