ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 12, 2021)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs:
“National PTA appreciates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing clearer guidance today for safely reopening schools for in-person instruction. Reopening schools for in-person learning is vital to ensure the continuity of education for every child, particularly those who do not have adequate access to technology. However, health and safety must continue to be the utmost priority. Parents are depending on the CDC to provide the best guidance for informed decisions to be made.
“National PTA appreciates the CDC providing clarity on the critical importance of universal use of masks for students, teachers and staff, as well as physical distancing between people to the greatest extent possible. National PTA also appreciates the CDC clarifying that rigorous sanitizing processes and viral screening and testing protocols are other important steps to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 in schools. Further, National PTA appreciates the CDC clarifying that the modes schools use for learning should be based on the current impact of the virus on individual communities. Additionally, National PTA appreciates the CDC clarifying that vaccines should be prioritized for teachers but are not required for schools to reopen for in-person learning. National PTA supports vaccination, and our association joined other education organizations in calling for school personnel to be given priority access.
“National PTA applauds the CDC for recommending that school leaders engage with the entire school community in developing reopening plans. National PTA has been calling for any decision to reopen schools to involve parents, families, students, educators and school employees in the planning, implementation and monitoring stages of reopening. Inclusive stakeholder engagement is essential for effective decision-making and successful implementation of school reopening plans, particularly engagement with parents and students to address unique family needs.
“While the CDC’s new guidance is a positive step, more resources continue to be needed to help pay for the costs for schools to reopen safely and successfully and address the health, safety, infrastructure and physical, psychological, social and emotional needs of students, educators and staff. For nearly a year, National PTA has been calling on Congress to provide more funding to schools to address challenges they are facing during the pandemic.
“National PTA is committed to partnering with the CDC to get this information out to parents. Our association also remains committed to advocating to safeguard the education, health and safety of our nation’s children and make sure students, families and schools have what they need during this challenging time.”