NEW JERSEY — New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union and several organizations representing principals and administrators have issued a joint statement calling for all-remote learning for the new school year.
Leaders from the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and the New Jersey Education Association, put out the statement Tuesday night.
“For months, New Jersey educators and administrators have been working tirelessly to find a way to safely bring students back into school buildings in September,” the statement reads. “Now, with less than a month remaining before schools are scheduled to reopen, it is time to reluctantly acknowledge that goal is simply not achievable,” the statement reads.
They said they are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy and the Department of Education to direct all New Jersey public schools to open remotely this fall.
“Reopening schools for in-person instruction under the current conditions poses too great a risk to the health of students and schools staff.”
The organizations said they fully support Murphy’s goal of moving to in-person schooling, but only when the science and data shows it can be done responsibly and safely.
“New Jersey’s communities are still at risk, and putting students and staff inside school buildings, even with exceptional precautions, increases that risk,” the group said.
The movement for remote-only learning has been growing across the state.
While the governor strongly suggested in June that all schools aim for in-person learning, some local districts have already decided otherwise for themselves.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop told PIX11 Tuesday that his city’s Board of Education voted last week to start the school year off with an all-remote learning curriculum.
On Monday, the Elizabeth Board of Education unanimously voted to kick off their school year with remote learning only, as well.
Over 375 teachers in Elizabeth have refused to return to the classroom out of coronavirus concerns, Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer told PIX11.