Local Teacher Union President: Hold Off On Reopening School Buildings Until January

One local union president is speaking up in favor of not reopening schools until after the winter holidays.

NJ.com reports:

“The local teachers’ union president in Paterson says Gov. Phil Murphy should hold off on reopening school buildings until January, and possibly longer, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

John McEntee, president of the Paterson Education Association, said he prefers all-remote learning to the hybrid model embraced by Murphy, in which classes will start on time in September but parents may choose to keep their children home for online learning.

‘Look, the schools right now are just not safe to open. I know I am not willing to put my daughter in a school right now,’ said McEntee, father of a 7-year-old.

Opening schools in September will result in recurring shutdowns when students and staffers inevitably test positive for the coronavirus, McEntee said in arguing that all school districts, not just Paterson, should delay restarting classes.

‘Our union would suggest, at the moment, to set a target date of January and see where they are,’ McEntee told NJ Advance Media on Thursday.

‘If you can’t meet the target, that’s another conversation. Maybe you set another one for after spring break,’ McEntee said.

McEntee went further than the state teachers’ union president, who has said districts do not have enough time to safely reopen buildings on schedule but not given a timeframe.

‘We need to step back and let districts decide what’s the right date for them,’ Marie Blistan, president of the New Jersey Education Association, said in an interview Wednesday.

It is not clear whether McEntee’s call for at least a four-month delay and all-remote learning will draw support.”

For the rest of the story, visit NJ.com here.

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