Iowans for a Safer Return to Learning

Who We Are: We are education and community organizations representing thousands of concerned Iowans.  We stand together with the expectation that Governor Reynolds listen to educators, health experts, and scientists when it comes to reopening our schools. Participating groups include: Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Drive for Lives, Iowa Educators for a Safe Return to Learning, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Iowa State Education Association, Des Moines Education Association, Iowans for Public Education,  Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement,  Western Iowa Labor Federation

What We Stand For: The premise is simple, prioritize the health and safety of our K-12 students and families, educators, school employees, indeed all Iowans.  We expect a reasonable response from Governor Reynolds.

How Can We Accomplish our Goals: CITIZEN ADVOCACY – Join Us!  There is strength in numbers!  Fill out the form below!

Here’s is what we are asking for:

  • Rescind the July 17th Proclamation: recognize that every school district is unique and that individual school boards, administrators, educators and school employees should have the ability to work together with public health officials to implement a plan for each school setting. We support the School Boards who have taken strong stands for safety.
  • Mandate a state-wide mask requirement: epidemiologists, public health officials and scientific research have concurred that masks are one of the simplest, most effective ways to stop the virus from spreading. Mandating face coverings would be an effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the educational and economic success of Iowans.
  • Expand safety-nets for vulnerable K-12 students, families, and workers : knowing that COVID-19 disproportionally affects marginalized groups, we call for systemic solutions to address issues of race and class when returning to learning. Iowa must commit funds and pass policies to keep vulnerable people and front-line school staff safe. This would include: paid sick leave, personal protective equipment, face coverings/masks, expand and enhance unemployment insurance and provide incentives to enable employees to work from home. 
  • Protect teacher and support staff rights: unregulated and uncoordinated re-openings in states and particularly in schools, have been an unmitigated disaster.  There must be a systemic approach using real-time data and science.  Workers must be provided guidelines outlining their rights including laws requiring employers to provide safe and healthy workplaces and legal protections.

 

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