COLUMBUS — The Ohio Education Association wants schools in counties with higher cases of COVID-19 to start the year with remote learning and maintain that for as long as needed.
“Given the dangers posed by the spread of COVID-19 ... OEA believes that reopening for in-person instruction prematurely poses unacceptable risks to the lives and health of students, adults who work in schools and the people they care for,” the OEA Board of Directors said in a statement.
The association, which represents over 100,000 teachers and educators, pointed to a mid-July poll of its members that found 69 percent of education professionals in the state do not think schools can reopen safely in the fall.
“No education employee in any setting should be forced to choose between their livelihood and their health or safety,” the OEA Board of Directors said.
OEA said schools in counties that have been designated as Level 4 (purple) or Level 3 (red) should remain closed to in-person instruction.
“If we do what we need to do, we can start these numbers going the right direction,” Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Tuesday news conference. “We are at a crucial time, and these are tough decisions.”
Columbus City Schools announced their schools will use remote learning for the first quarter, which runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 27. Youngstown City Schools has announced a similar policy.
“I understand that this news of starting back in the fall with a fully virtual learning model will please many parents and families,” Columbus City Schools Superintendent and CEO Talisa Dixon said in a letter to families.
“I also know that many will not be pleased with the decision,” Dixon said. “However, ultimately, safety and health concerns led to a final decision that would keep all of us safe as we work collectively to lower the rate of COVID-19 infections.”
— Story courtesy of The Center Square.