NJEA supports Murphy’s call for all NJ schools to close

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New Jersey Education Association

As school districts around the state announce closures, many students, families and educators are left with uncertainty about what the coming days and weeks hold.  NJEA appreciates Governor Murphy’s announcement this afternoon that he and his administration are preparing for the closure of all school districts in NJ early this week. NJEA will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Murphy administration and the New Jersey Department of Education to ensure a quick, efficient implementation of a statewide school closure. While it is not clear how long closures will need to last in order to best protect our communities, it is beyond question that those closures must begin without delay. There is no higher priority than the health and safety of our students, their families, our educators and the entire New Jersey community and this decisive action is needed to protect all New jersey residents.

Upon implementing closures, we call on all districts, with the support of other local, county and state authorities, to focus their attention on ensuring the welfare of students during the closure, beginning with implementing plans to provide meals to students who normally rely on them during the school day. Given the huge economic disruptions faced by many families and the uncertain availability of food for many of those same families, we must take extraordinary measures to protect our students during this time.

We also call on all districts to guarantee that all employees, in all job categories, continue to be paid in full for the duration any closure. That will alleviate the economic concerns of hundreds of thousands of New Jersey families and allow them to focus on protecting their health and taking whatever actions are possible to contribute to the wellbeing of our communities.

In a time of great uncertainty, with so much that cannot yet be known, our students, their families and our dedicated educators deserve the certainty of knowing that their wellbeing is being valued and protected by officials at every level of government.

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