Educators disappointed with Administration’s last-minute move to relax red tier standard; Safety remains concern
SACRAMENTO — California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd issued the following statement on the passage of Assembly Bill 86 today by the California Legislature:
“CTA’s priority is the safety of our students, their families, educators and school staff. We recognize the efforts of state lawmakers in designating vaccine supply for educators who have been in schools and for those heading back. Getting educators and school staff the vaccine is key to safely reopening for in-person instruction and protecting students and their families. The $4.6 billion to support student learning is also essential and allows school districts to dedicate the time and resources to equitably support the social and emotional needs of students and target a whole-child recovery.
“We’re disappointed the Administration, once again, moved the community case rate goalpost by relaxing the red tier standard from seven daily cases to 10 per 100,000 residents. This is the second major change to California Department of Public Health guidance within the past eight weeks. Educators are painfully aware of the impact these eleventh-hour changes have on our school communities – whether it’s the waivers, inconsistent safety standards or shifting guidance earlier in the pandemic. Changing guidance directly tied to this legislation will impact districts already working on their plans and will likely trigger confusion, fear and anxiety when our communities are already worried about the safety of their families.
“We are also concerned that this legislation does not include regular and ongoing asymptomatic testing, outside the purple tier, as recommended by California Department of Public Health guidance. We continue to have equity concerns regarding the $2 billion to support safety measures for schools that are opening and have already opened. The incentive plan penalizes schools in communities with higher transmission rates that can’t open immediately and school districts that have announced plans to open after April 1. Implementation and enforcement of these regulations and safety guidelines at the local level and statewide will be the next step and all of our responsibilities.”
The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.