NJ State Senator Calls for Schools to Resume Full In-person Learning
As more teachers begin to make appointments and get vaccinated, State Senator Declan O'Scanlon says the time is about right to resume full in-person learning at schools by April 1.
Senator O'Scanlon said a Monmouth County campaign to vaccinate teachers continues and it's success so far is reason to support resuming in person classes in a couple weeks.
“We’re proud of our role in this program that has vaccinated more than 2,100 educators in less than a month,” O’Scanlon (R-13) said in a statement. “Let’s be clear … overwhelming evidence indicates vaccinating teachers is not a scientific necessity to safely bring students back into the schools, but we know many of our instructors will feel more comfortable about returning to school once they have had the shots. It will help eliminate the staff shortages and extended quarantines that have prevented schools from returning to business as usual.”
Senator O'Scanlon cites data from the CDC indicating that in-person instruction has not been the cause of community transmission with studies showing COVID-19 spread could be reduced, he explains, while also allowing schools to stay open for in-person instruction.
“It is time to stop trying this duct tape-approach to education and bring the students back into the schools where they belong,” O’Scanlon said. “Our state guidelines for school closure are completely outdated given the CDC’s multiple studies showing in-person instruction isn’t the cause of outbreaks. Most recently, Red Bank Regional has had – reluctantly – to move to remote learning all because of outdated information and guidelines regarding community transmission levels reflecting the school community. Teachers and administrators have worked hard and done their best to provide effective online and hybrid learning, but these professionals are trained to provide their most compelling instruction in the classrooms. Our children have been deprived of so much opportunity over the past year. It’s time to get the kids back behind their desks five days a week."
Senator O'Scanlon said that there are many parents across the State who echo a similar desire for full-time classes to resume soon.
In Monmouth County specifically, O'Scanlon explains that the county’s successful effort to have teachers inoculated through the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey and local health care systems, is evidence enough for the return to full in-school education for Monmouth County schools.
“After a couple more weeks of vaccinating school personnel at the current pace, schools should be ready to go. Let’s make Monmouth County yet another leader in getting back to normal and make this happen April 1," O'Scanlon said.
Senator O'Scanlon isn't the only lawmaker calling for the resumption of full in-person learning either, many shared a similar goal.
Congressmen Tom Malinowski and Josh Gottheimer are pushing for more state vaccination resources to be set aside for teachers, Congresswoman Mikie Sherill has also begun pushing for a return to classrooms for students and teachers.
Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this news article.