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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate Democratic Caucus Leadership Statement on the 2020-2021 School Year

July 23, 2020

Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore, and Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend released the following joint statement in response to the Delaware State Education Association’s comments regarding the start of the upcoming school year:

“Containing the COVID-19 pandemic has required sweeping changes in how we work, how we interact with friends and family and even how we shop for groceries. It is no surprise then that we are grappling with how to resume one of the most important aspects of our lives: the education of our children.

There is still much we do not know about how this virus is transmitted or its long-range impacts on our health. But we know for sure that our public education system was never designed to accommodate social distancing, mandatory face masks or many of the other public health measures that have been instituted to protect us from this pandemic.

A number of questions remain about the most effective way we can provide our children the education they deserve while also protecting their health, as well as the health of our teachers, our bus drivers, our paraprofessionals, school staff members and the families waiting for them at home. We must make the safe delivery of education and vital social services to our children the highest priority. 

Finding the right balance to make that transition will require each of our locally-controlled school districts to carefully weigh what is best for their communities – a process that most likely will require more time and consideration than many have available before the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The concerns raised by the members of the Delaware State Education Association are legitimate and should be strongly considered by each district, as well as the Delaware Department of Education, before our school buildings are re-opened.

Beginning the school year with remote learning is not only the most prudent option available, it also will provide our educators with the time they need to have their concerns addressed while giving our state an opportunity to deliver the resources they need to return to the classroom in the safest manner possible.”