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LWVNC Suggests More Inclusiveness for Schools Reopening Task Force

May 19, 2020

Raleigh, NC, May 19, 2020 – As a staunch supporter of education, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC) supports the state’s efforts to provide quality public education during the Covid-19 pandemic. We applaud State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson’s intention to seek guidance on reopening plans from a Reopening Task Force; however, LWVNC joins the NC Association of Educators (NCAE) and the Guilford County School Board in urging Mr. Johnson to broaden the composition of his newly formed task force.

Education involves many diverse functions. We believe that effectively reopening schools will require input from administrators, teachers, cafeteria workers, custodians, school nurses, school psychologists, bus drivers, teacher assistants and many more. The plan to reopen should include input from those involved in each aspect of education and they must ensure the safety of both students and staff. The current make-up of the task force includes just one representative of the teaching profession; LWVNC encourages the Superintendent to increase teacher representation. In addition, the task force should have input from school districts large and small. Currently, large districts in urban areas are underrepresented. In summary, the LWVNC encourages the creation of a task force that is more diverse and representative of the essential functions of our public schools.

President Jo Nicholas of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina stated, “The League supports the NCAE recommendation for a more inclusive task force in order to create plans that will effectively deal with the real-world impacts of Covid-19 on public education. As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise our children’ and therefore it will take a village to plan for our schools during this pandemic.”

LWVNC asks citizens to contact Superintendent Johnson’s office to advocate for Task Force membership to include representatives involved in the day-to-day implementation of schools in North Carolina for the sake of our children and school workers alike. We must have all parties at the table in this important activity that will reconfigure our educational services to meet the needs of our children as well as educational personnel.