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California teachers association recommends closing schools

 an empty classroom
Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 17:01:26-04

The California Teachers Association is recommending that state close all public schools to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“The health and safety of our students, educators and all their families are our top priority as we grapple with this rapidly changing situation and the spread of COVID-19. We know these are not easy decisions and there are many ramifications. To protect students and educators, we believe closing all public schools and community colleges would be one of the safest measures to help mitigate further spreading of the virus right now,” said E. Toby Boyd, president of the California Teachers Association.

The organization is also asking to the state to "hold districts harmless from any financial penalties for loss of instructional days; provide support to allow meal service to continue to students during the closures, suspend all state testing this year; provide support for custodial services and staff; and provide additional support for school nurses and counselors."

The CTA is also looking for the state to provide additional sick leave for those who do not have any, to provide paid family leave for those dealing with the coronavirus, and to provide internet access for students.

“Sadly, in many ways, this pandemic is showcasing some of the challenges we face in our schools every day. The lack of adequate nurses and counselors to assist our students is a constant struggle. We know many districts right now are struggling with having adequate cleaning supplies. And when schools do close, we must also have plans to support students, educators and families throughout that process,” said Boyd. “We appreciate the Governor’s leadership and quick action at this critical time when Californians need it most. The magnitude and severity of the pandemic is already impacting everyone, while the long-term impacts are really unknown.”