November 2, 2020
Washington DC Teachers’ Vote ‘No Confidence’ in DCPS’ Plan to Reopen Schools to In-person Learning
WASHINGTON — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) voted at a Member Assembly last week to express “No Confidence” in the District’s plan to safely reopen schools.
“Last Thursday evening night, DC’s teachers spoke loudly and clearly. We do not have faith that the DCPS plans to reopen our schools are in the best interest of students,” WTU President Elizabeth Davis said. “Despite negotiations throughout the weekend, we’re disappointed that we were not able to come to an agreement. The Chancellor’s plan to reopen our schools to in-person learning will disrupt the education of a vast majority of DCPS students. As educators, we do not believe this plan is good for our students or good for our schools.”
The Union voted overwhelmingly, with more than 93% of members present supporting the motion, during a special membership assembly to express “No confidence in Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee, and the DC Public Schools plan to reopen our schools to in-person learning on November 9th, as it currently stands.”
Earlier last week, the Council of School Officers, the union representing DCPS principals and other mid-level administrators, sent an Open Letter to the Deputy Mayor and Chancellor outlining their concerns with the District’s reopen plans.
The Washington Teachers’ Union and DCPS will resume negotiations about a safe return to our schools later in the week. While many elements of an agreement have been reached, the Union believes that plans should be revised to ensure greater equity across the city to ensure that students furthest from opportunity have access to additional in-person learning opportunities and that no educator should be required to return to in-person learning if they don’t believe adequate protections for themselves, their students and the community are in place.
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The WTU represents more than 5,000 active and retired teachers. It is dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students in D.C. Public Schools.