In a 200 Car Parade, Chula Vista Educators Demand Districts Ensure Student and Staff Health and Safety, Call for Increased Funding
On Monday, August 3, Chula Vista Educators (CVE) hosted a 200 car “Motor March for Schools” to demand safe procedures for reopening schools and the appropriate funding to make it happen. With COVID rates dangerously high in Chula Vista, educators want Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) to put safety first for students and staff. The school board must adopt a comprehensive safety plan that protects students, staff, and families. “Students are our most valuable resource. Any reopening plan should not further endanger our already hit-hard communities,” said CVE organizer Courtney Green, a fourth-grade teacher at Kellogg Elementary School in CVESD.
Chula Vista teachers are currently in negotiations with CVESD to determine safety measures which will be in place when schools reopen. Key demands include proper ventilation, rigorous testing and tracing, six feet of consistent social distancing, appropriate PPE, and trained custodial staff to daily clean and disinfect classrooms, restrooms and workspaces. Teachers also demand the CVESD provide quality distance learning options to students including guarantees that each student will have a working device and ability to connect remotely.
Chula Vista Educators has adopted a comprehensive platform detailing conditions which must be in place to safely return to school, including a call for additional funding for public education. “Unfortunately, the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic is causing our students to face inequities in their academic and social-emotional supports at the time when they deserve more, not less,” CVE President Susan Skala explains. “Our students and families must have more access to nurses, counselors, academic interventions, and enrichment in order to not only survive this pandemic but thrive. Our schools are in the position to provide these supports only if there is an increase in federal and state funding including supporting Prop 15, the Schools and Communities First initiative. Our state and federal government must do better for our kids and their families!”
The event was a great success in organizing during the pandemic. As educators honked their horns in thanks, hundreds of parents lined the parade route to support their teachers. It is those parents and students who Chula Vista Educators are committed to protecting.