Tito Be Boyd, California, Kobe discussed on Forum
Pandemic. Union leaders have argued that a rush to reopen would endanger the health and safety of teachers. But the stance has frustrated some parents and public officials as data mounts on the toll of remote learning on kids physical and mental health. Joining us now to talk about what the recent surge in covert 19 cases may mean for reopening various schools on the role of teachers unions and California is California Teacher Association President Tito Be Boyd and Jeff Raiders, who was president of the California Federation of Teachers. And Welcome to both of you. Good to have you with us. Good morning. Thank you Problem. Good morning, and let's begin. If I may, Toby Boyd with you, and it's certainly been the position of the unions want to talk about now that we're in a new surge of upon a surgeon's Dr Fauci puts it, but Taking the position that health and safety of teachers has been prior priority. And there's been a lot of disagreement obviously on what's safe and the opinions have been deeply divided not only between parents and teachers, but also Staff. What's not divided in terms of opinions is the toll of remote learning on physical and mental health. The evidence has been mounting. So let me ask you, Toby, right away here. What you say to those who have been very frustrated over the power of the unions to keep classrooms close, especially when, for example, they've been open in Europe. Well, The first thing I would say is that Our educators within the California Teachers Association, Aiken constantly say with C F A We want to be back in our classrooms because we missed our students. We know that is the best learning environment for students. However. You know, since the school's calls back and the spring our primary guiding principle has been the safety for educators and our students, So you know you mentioned in the beginning that was just for the educators and I would say no. We are concerned about our students safety. And their families in the communities in which they live in So that's our main concern. And yes, we would like to be back in front of our classes, but we can only do so when it's safe. How do you determine when that is the case? I mean, now we're in a new surge, so in many respects This is, uh, a time that's quite fraught to put it mildly, but never unless you have a lot of mounting evidence, as I said earlier that Kids don't transmit as much particularly you're a kindergarten teacher. When you go into the lower grades, the elementary schools, for example, there's a good deal of concern about the lack of transmission and the possibility that No kids are not to be worried about as much as say those of an older ages, So I know you're concerned about parents as well and transmission on that level, But the evidence seems to be mounting. As I said earlier, and we hear this from Eric upon the health director. We hear this also from The head of HHS and California Mark Galley that schools should be really should have been re opening. And again I agree with you Shit School should be open, but only when it's safe. We have to make sure that You know? We have to trace. We have to make sure that the tester, therefore students. Yes, the incidence of infection maybe lower. I'm sorry to beg and I tell you that one Infectious outbreak in one death of any child would be too much, especially on my watch. So I want to look out in it. And if I merit to be too conservative than I would, That's I'll admit it. But it's the safety of everyone that's involved in the educational system that I'm worried about. And I'm not willing to sacrifice one child, one adult or one family just to prove everyone wrong. Well, certainly let me go to you Jeff Radius. There's no arguing with the fact that Those in positions of power, like you and Toby Boyd really want the schools to be reopened. I understand that many people do and we don't want to get in the politics of this. It's no game for the unions to say. Do remote learning or don't do remote learning. In fact, doing remote learning might be a real deficit for the unions. But there's really no real threshold about went open up and went to return. No clear direction from the state. Is that the problem that local control is not working here? Appreciate the opportunity to talk about this and you're absolutely right. When you say there is no game here for anybody. There's no game here for the students for the faculty for the classified for the unions or anything. We're trying. This is a war against an invisible virus that were fighting and that and that's the situation We're in. The way would have to use your earlier compared us to to European countries We have. Our national administration has failed to lead us in this during this crisis in that's why we you're finding us having to scramble and figure out how to reopen schools. A hefty as well. Let's see if he put out a plan in May and June Tioga five point color on how to reopen our schools. We've We've shared this with the governor. The governor has used many points of this on the first is we got to get Kobe down. Obviously, we put this back out in May and June. We never imagined that now we have the number of coded. It's twice as Yesterday, the number of new Kobe cases was twice as high as any high point during the summer. That's something to know about in California, as the numbers are absolutely going up the numbers of very scary, But let me just get back to the question. I asked, Okay. Should the governor be providing more leadership here? You talk about the national level, but Rather than letting the local decisions we made locally. Well, um we have actually have pushed the government to do a statewide decision on all schools. At the same time, He feels that this needs to be regionalized because the cove in numbers or regional until recently, Um and that's where the colors come in. We have pushed the governor to have more of Ah, statewide decision on shutdown. We also said that we needed more testing. He's trying to provide that testing. He's trying to provide that in the statewide level. We need definitely PPE. We need decision making Apple Local level what occurs because there are some some educators that want to voluntarily be in the classroom with the safe protocols that in there, and we need funding, and that's one of the things that the state has failed us. They relied on the federal government to provide its funding that failed, and we do not have the funding. They have the extra nurses, the extra counselors, the extra PPE, the smaller class sizes. They're extra testing all that in the ventilation. All of that is being filled because we didn't get the funding that we needed to be given. It would not have been any difference. But the defeated proposition. 15 was certainly disappointing Window made a difference now, but it was 6.5 to $11 billion, it would have gone into Education, and there was also $15 billion state bond for construction that went down in the March primary. But never less has been support for a lot of local measures around the state. And I know you need more revenue, particularly for Peopie, and you need more revenue. Get the school's ventilated. There are serious problems there, and serious problems all around that require More funding. But let me go back if I may to you, Toby Boyd on this. There's also a problem with lack of data center Steve Glaser, for example of a Renda calls California data desert, he says the government isn't providing the dead. The data this necessary or the transparency for the schools..