California Educator

April/May 2021

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Page 15 of 63

CTA has been advocating for multilayered coronavirus health and safety measures, vaccines for educators, and the necessary funding to return to in-person instruction (#OnlyWhenItsSafe). In the State Capitol and school districts through- out California, educators and their local associations continue to be a voice of reason defending community health, as some elected o™icials and small but very vocal groups clamor for schools to physically reopen, no matter the danger. Despite the focus of news reports on these voices, a recent poll commissioned by CTA found that two-thirds of parents are satisfied with their child's education this school year and 75 percent believe that student and educator safety is more important than returning to in-person instruc- tion as soon as possible. This is particularly true among respondents of color, whose communi- ties have been hit harder by the pandemic. As students return to classrooms, we need to uphold parents' trust by ensuring school districts follow the health guidelines to keep school com- munities safe. Enforcement of state and county health regulations and our collectively bargained agreements is the next step to ensuring the safety of our communities. See page 16 for how to report safety violations. Opening and keeping our schools open for in- person instruction amid an ongoing pandemic will take all of us collaborating to protect our students, fami- lies and communities. Including students, educators, school sta™, caregivers and families, more than half of California's 40 million residents are impacted by public schools. We are truly #InThisTogether. It will take the power of our solidarity and unity to over- come the coronavirus and fight racism. SURVEY TAKEAWAYS During March 9-16, Hart Research Associates interviewed 1,839 registered voters (including 661 public school parents) in California about their views on whether, when, and how the state's public schools should be reopened for in-school instruction. (For details about the survey, which was commissioned by CTA, see CTA and Hart Research held a virtual press conference on March 25 to announce survey results. The event included parents and educator Matthew Schneck speaking on behalf of students. Key findings: • Majorities of voters (62 percent) and parents (70 percent) approve of the decisions their school district has made about whether, when, and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction, and 65 percent of parents are satisfied with their child's education in the cur- rent school year. "While you hear the negative parents more frequently, they are the exception and not the rule," said Hart Research President Geo™rey Garin at the press conference. • By large margins, voters (72 percent) and parents (75 percent) believe that the more important consideration in reopening schools should be keeping students, sta™ and families as safe as possible, as opposed to getting students back into classrooms as soon as possible. • While a plurality of parents of color say schools are reopening at about the right pace, 40 percent of them think schools are opening too quickly, and only 17 per- cent say schools are opening too slowly. And while a majority of white parents say they are comfortable send- ing their own child to school for in-person instruction at this time, fewer than half of parents of color feel that way. Parents Say Keep Our Kids and Educators Safe M A N Y E D U C A T O R S H A V E already been teaching in person for some time, and others are set to ease back into it this spring. A complete return to in-person instruction brings up many questions for educators and parents about safety. 75 percent of parents prioritize keeping students as safe as possible, as opposed to getting them back in classrooms as soon as possible. 75% 25% Continued on Page 16 14 In the Know R E T U R N I N G T O S C H O O L

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