DES MOINES – Iowa’s teacher union today slammed Governor Kim Reynolds’ plan to re-open schools, calling it “outlandish”.
Thursday, Governor Kim Reynolds held a press conference to talk about Iowa’s “Return to Learn” plan, opening and keeping open schools based on spread of the dreaded Covid-19 illness and transmission rates.
Iowa’s teacher union flatly rejected the plan and released this statement:
The ISEA rejects Governor Reynolds outlandish notion of what constitutes minimal, moderate and uncontrollable spread of COVID-19. Instead, we will continue to listen to world health experts, scientists and specialists who tell us that counties with extensive testing should be at a positivity of 5% or lower before it’s safe to reopen schools.
Most importantly we are not just talking about numbers as we look at this decision. We are talking about children’s lives and the lives of the educators, school employees and the families who are affected. If in fact a 20% positivity rate is the point at which our schools can ask for permission to close school buildings for 14 days, that means that 1 in 5 Iowans will need to test positive and perhaps experience severe to drastic consequence’s before we can take the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, educators, and school communities.
We can do better.
The ISEA Executive Board adopted requirements which must be put in place for the safe return for in-person learning. Among those are three key points: the Covid-19 pandemic is under control in the community; specific protections have been put in place to keep the virus under control and protect students and staff; and plans are in place to ensure continuous learning for all students. Read ISEA Check list here
The health and safety of our students, educators, school employees and their families are our number one priority. Shouldn’t they be everyone’s?
The ISEA represents preK-12 educators, education support professionals, community college faculty, Area Education Agency professionals, retired educators and aspiring educators with contracts covering more than 50,000 employees. We promote quality public education by placing students at the center of everything we do while advocating for education professionals.
ISEA’s Checklist on Reopening: https://isea.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ISEA-Checklist.pdf