By J.D. Davidson
The state’s largest teachers union wants all Ohio schools to move to remote learning while the surge in COVID-19 cases continues to surge.
The Ohio Education Associated called on state and local leaders to, according to a news release, put students first by enacting a plan that includes immediately suspending in-person learning until Jan. 11 and include a 14-day quarantine period after Christmas.
“This reset period, whether schools delay instruction or educate students in a fully remote model, is critical not only to ensure student and staff safety, but also to give schools time to refine their delivery model and make other necessary adjustments to executive their instructional plan so students can receive the best education possible in the face of all the challenges the pandemic presents,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said.
Decisions on remote, in-person or a hybrid learning model are made at the local level. Currently, the majority of Ohio students are involved full remote learning, with 30.4% of school districts covering 44.7% of Ohio students in that option.
Nearly 30% of students are in full in-person learning, and 25.1% are in a hybrid model, according to data released by Gov. Mike DeWine last week.
“You can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote,” DeWine said. “Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning.”
The union also wants health departments, rather than elected school boards, to have the final say on if students can return to the classroom, requiring districts to get a signoff on the safety of instruction plans.
“Public health experts, not the elected politicians that serve on local school boards, should make the determination about whether schools are safe for students and staff to gather in person,” DiMauro said. “The state has thus far failed to provide true leadership or firm statewide policies. We therefore must depend on local boards of health to make difficult decisions and accept accountability when they approve any educational plans.”
Originally posted by The Center Square. Republished with permission.