ELGIN – Tonight, teachers and other supporters plan to gather at a safe social distance before the School District U46 Board of Education (BOE) meeting to push for a more robust return to learn plan that ensures safe schools for all.
“We are calling for our safety plan to be strengthened, specifically by creating a collaborative system to monitor compliance and enforce safety expectations,” Elgin Teachers Association (ETA) President Barb Bettis said. “All stakeholders need to know what protocols will be in place to make sure the safety plan is being followed.”
The ETA represents the 2700 teachers and other certified staff members working in District U46, which is the second largest school district in the state. Nearly 40,000 students attend 57 schools and programs in the district.
“We are not against in-person learning. We have been, and remain committed to, providing a safe learning environment for all,” Bettis said. “What concerns us is we are the second largest school district in the state. There are more than 42,000 students, teachers and other staff members who work in our school buildings. If U46 cannot conduct in-person learning safely, we are putting families in 11 different communities at risk.”
After this afternoon’s rally, Bettis plans to make a statement during the BOE meeting.
“We want to be part of the solution. Teachers want to continue to collaborate with our administrators and board members to come up with the safest plan possible,” Bettis said. “We have a shared responsibility to make sure all our students, our staff and our community members are safe. We must get this right. All of us.”
The Rally for Safe Schools will be held this afternoon at 4 p.m. at the U46 Administrative Building (355 E. Chicago St., Elgin). The open session for BOE meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the same location. All rallygoers are being asked to wear masks, socially distance and follow all Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines during the rally.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.