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Teachers Rally for Safe Schools

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About 80 to 100 teachers and others gathered on the State House lawn August 3 to rally for safe schools in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, attended and posted this on Facebook: “I was glad to be at the School Workers Action Committee socially distanced rally this afternoon and hearing school workers’ demands for a safe and just plan for reopening Vermont’s schools while protecting student and worker’s health.”

Several people stood up to speak at a rally on the State House lawn Aug. 3. Photo by J. Gregory Gerdel.

The purpose of the rally, according to organizers, was to call on Gov. Phil Scott and Secretary of Education Daniel French to take statewide action to ensure a safe and equitable reopening of schools this fall.

It was organized by the School Workers Action Committee, a group of Vermont school employees seeking to unite professional and support staff — as well as students, parents and community members — behind a common vision for safe, equitable schools. The event will feature voices of school workers, parents and community members expressing their hopes, fears  and priorities for the upcoming school year.  

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Specifically, the organizers are calling on the governor and secretary to:

  • Let school employees be at the table to design reopening plans and continue to ensure that adequate time and resources are devoted to this planning.  
  • Ensure job and pay security for all school employees 
  • Invest in school funding and broadband infrastructure to support remote learning and work for all staff and students who require it
  • Develop and implement science-based statewide protocols for weekly testing and tracing, as well as clear criteria for school closure
  • Cancel rent and mortgage payments and provide child care, unemployment benefits, and paid sick leave to ALL Vermont families during the pandemic.