Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association have reacted to ISBE’S in-person instruction guidelines. IFT President Dan Montgomery and Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin have released a joint statement to ISBE’s 2020-21 school year transition plan. The summary of the statement is as follows:
ISBE has released a road map for the return to in-person instruction. However, the guidelines don’t address some of the major pressing points. The lack of address makes it difficult to social distance appropriately and monitor the health and well-being of all our education support staff, teachers, and students. The lack of personal protective equipment is a major concern.
Without the PPEs and thorough, it is difficult to provide a safe learning environment. Remote learning has been a challenge to the teachers, parents, and students, so we are looking forward to the return of in-person instruction, but there is anxiety involved as well regarding high over class sizes and the lack of school nurses and other health and safety resources.
The disparities in schools, especially in Black and Brown communities need to be addressed. Those communities still lack access to the internet and computers. The rural communities also have to be address who lack access to online information. Parents, students, and community members will be confident enough when there is a safe return to in-person instruction.
The labor-management relationship and the support staff, teachers, and stakeholder’s voice will determine how successfully the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) guidelines are incorporated. We will work and cooperate with the ISBE to update the guidelines. We are the student’s voices.