Safety of Students and Educators, Deliberate and Collaborative Planning Key as State Begins Preparations to Reopen Schools

CTA President Testifies Before Legislative Budget Subcommittee; Named to Co-Chair Subcommittee on Loss of Learning and Safe Recovery from the Disruption and Devastation Caused by COVID-19

SACRAMENTO — California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd issued the following statement in support of deliberate and collaborative planning as the state prepares for the eventual opening of public schools as explained today by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s relentless leadership during this worldwide pandemic and his commitment to inclusivity and collaboration. The four stages he outlined today will begin to prepare us for the eventual opening of our schools and classrooms. The school closures have been hard on our students, educators, families, and communities. When students physically return to school campuses, it needs to be planned and deliberate with public health at the forefront of all decision-making. We want our students to be safe and ready to learn. This must include safety supports for students and educators.

“As we have those conversations, we will prioritize partnering with parents to address any learning loss. When we can physically open schools again, teachers will look at what each child needs and work together in determining how best to help each student, especially those who may be struggling. California educators can be proud of the tremendous work in advocating for and successfully reaching their students wherever they have been. These are the same educators who are eagerly awaiting the day they will welcome their students back into the classroom and help get them back up to speed.

“We are also facing a lot of uncertainty in the state budget and funding for our local public schools. This is the perfect storm in which revenues are declining dramatically while expenditures continue to increase as we fight to protect our students and communities. It is hard to see any budget solution that does not require additional money from the federal government.

“Today, along with a panel of education stakeholders, we outlined for the legislative budget subcommittee the need to focus on support for students and educators, loss of learning, equity and the digital divide, and a safe recovery from the disruption and devastation caused by COVID-19. I am looking forward to co-chairing the Superintendent’s Loss of Learning Committee with Assembly Member Shirley Weber and serving on the governor’s Recovery Task Force to ensure the concerns of students, educators and their families are represented as California develops the four reopening stages.

“Educators must continue to be part of conversations that directly impact their students. We look forward to working with the governor and other state leaders to develop an equitable and sound framework for local school districts and educators to follow as they work on agreements that will be best suited for their local students, address their needs and ensure their success.”

The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.