connecticut coronavirus

Education Coalition Calls for Conn. Schools to Go Remote After Thanksgiving

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With concerns over COVID-19 cases rising over the holidays, teachers and school staff across the state are asking for stronger safety measures or for classes to go online full time.

The Education Coalition is calling for schools across Connecticut to go remote after Thanksgiving through mid-January.

"What we're trying to make sure doesn't happen, however, is everyone is pushed into this 'everybody back in school' when in fact we can't put together the kinds of protocols and the kinds of situations that make sure everybody is safe," said Connecticut Education Association President Jeff Leake.

Gov. Ned Lamont said he and the governors of the surrounding states are doing everything they can to keep in-person learning on the table, even as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb.

The coalition represents more than 60,000 public school union workers including teachers in the state.

The coalition is demanding state help to make sure schools can regularly test staff and students, better and more thorough notice of positive cases and stricter guidelines when it comes to who has to quarantine and how buildings are cleaned.

Union leaders are calling for more safety measures in Connecticut schools, including testing for all students.

State leaders said many of these decisions should be left up to local communities.

While the unions have concerns about the virus potentially spreading in schools, the state Education Department stands by its belief that precautions are working and there hasn't been a sustained spread in the classrooms.

More school districts across the state are going remote as cases of COVID-19 increase across the state. Mike Hydeck talks to Conn. Dept. of Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona about some of the challenges and benefits of going remote.

The Education Commissioner said the state has helped try to keep schools open by providing funding for personal protective equipment and by limiting sports.

"We made the decision to provide guidelines and allow local health directors and superintendents to be looking at the local factors which determine whether or not those schools should be open," said Miguel Cardona, the state Education Commissioner.

The state is looking for those qualified to help meet demands for school staff and health care workers.

Governor Ned Lamont said the state is also expanding testing at schools. They're rolling out rapid test machines capable of handling tens of thousands of tests each week.

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