Teachers left with more concerns than confidence after release of state’s road map to reopen

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Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 11:46 AM CDT
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By Catherine Patterson | June 26, 2020 at 9:33 PM CDT - Updated June 26 at 10:13 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re a little over a month away from the next school year and some educators said they’re leaving with more concerns than confidence after reading the new road map for reopening schools.

Tracee Binion with the Alabama Education Association said she wouldn't call this road map a "plan."

Instead, she said it's more of a guidance, and now believes a ton of the responsibility is on local school districts to come up with specifics quickly.

Binion said she understands not all school districts are the same, but said there's not a strong enough framework for school districts to use when developing protocol.

She said some of the biggest concerns she's hearing from teachers is a fear they won't have enough PPE to teach in-person, or that they won't be able to socially distance students, especially younger ones.

Binion said the next step will be to figure out how many students will choose virtual and in-person so they can start making decisions on staffing and planning.

"Based on what the state had to say today, I think you're going to see some of those numbers change too," Binion said. "I think there's going to be more parents that decide, 'No. I'm not real confident in this.' And they may take advantage of the remote learning."

She said teachers make connections with students and that isn’t possible when you teach virtually.

Binion said she's getting several calls from teachers deciding to retire early because of health concerns, while some say they're just not willing to go to full-time virtual.

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