FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2020
Virginia Teachers, Education Leaders Praise Joe Biden’s Roadmap to Reopen Schools
Today, teachers and education leaders in Virginia praised Joe Biden’s roadmap to safely reopen schools. Central to this roadmap is Biden’s belief that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state and local officials, based on science and in consultation with communities. It should be made with the safety of students and educators in mind.
Biden’s roadmap has five steps to support local decision-making: get COVID under control, set national safety guidelines, get emergency funding to schools and child care providers, ensure high-quality learning, and close the COVID educational-equity gap.
Below are what Virginia education leaders and teachers are saying:
“We all want to return to normal, plain and simple. We miss being in the classrooms and interacting with our students, and we worry for those who may fall through the cracks. But we can’t ignore the crisis we are going through, and we can’t risk lives,” said Dr. James Fedderman, incoming Virginia Education Association President. “Vice President Joe Biden’s roadmap to safely reopen schools is the sensible approach that puts our children, educators, and families first. As president, he will give schools the support we need by setting national safety guidelines, but at the same time, he will empower local decision-making. That is the leadership we desperately need.”
“The challenge we are facing as lawmakers and teachers in regards to our schools is unprecedented. And President Trump has made it much worse. When this crisis started, we had a window to get this right. He blew it,” said Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (Henrico), a public school teacher. “We are in desperate need of the leadership Joe Biden has provided in his roadmap to reopen schools. He will not only get the virus under control and work to safely reopen schools, he will also provide the necessary resources to help students whose learning has been interrupted.”
“While the Trump Administration has been at war with school districts like Fairfax County, Vice President Biden has been hard at work to outline a strong, smart roadmap to safely reopen schools. The emphasis deserves to be on ‘safely,’” said Fairfax County School Board Member Karen Keys-Gamarra. “We need a president who will tackle the COVID crisis, establish national safety guidelines, and swiftly work to close the COVID educational equity gap.”
“Vice President Joe Biden’s roadmap to safely reopen schools is the kind of leadership that is lacking in our nation,” said Prince William County School Board Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef. “He understands we need to get back to schools in a safe way, but also will need to address the educational crisis we’ll be facing as a result of Trump’s blunder. Low-income and students of color are being disproportionately affected by virtual learning. We need to close that educational equity gap and make sure all students have the access to quality education. Joe Biden will do just that.”