CFT urges Governor Newsom to delay physically reopening schools statewide (7/14/2020)

CFT urges Governor Newsom to delay physically reopening schools statewide

Yesterday CFT President Jeff Freitas sent a letter to Governor Newsom and legislative leaders urging them to delay the physical reopening of schools statewide. Despite coronavirus cases surging throughout the state, growing numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, and mounting testing woes, some school districts throughout the state are rushing to reopen – putting students, teachers, and communities at risk.

In the letter Freitas urged Governor Newsom to provide stronger direction to school communities, who have been left on their own to make the difficult decision on whether it is safe to reopen schools.

“Teachers and classified professionals love their jobs and miss their students dearly. They want nothing more than to return to their classrooms and school communities,” said CFT President Jeff Freitas. “But with cases of coronavirus surging, schools simply cannot guarantee the safety of our students and our school workers if we rush to physically reopen, especially when there is ambiguous guidance from the state. Today we urged the Governor to take action and delay the reopening of schools until we can guarantee our schools are safe. The stakes are as high as it gets, and we have only one chance to get this right.”

In addition to asking the Governor to delay reopening, the letter also reiterates CFT’s continued call for more revenues for our public schools. In the weeks and months ahead our schools will be stretched thin as they navigate the pandemic. To ensure safety and quality the state must step up and provide the funding our schools need. Please take a moment to sign this CFT petition urging our state’s leaders to tax billionaires to fund schools.

Trump administration reverses course on barring international students from US

In a dramatic reversal, today the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing its visa guidelines that would bar international students from the U.S. if all of their classes were to be conducted online this fall.

The move comes after fierce opposition from the higher education community, including our national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, which filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT challenging the original guidelines.

The reversal will allow international students to continue their studies remotely without impacting their visa status due to the coronavirus. While this is great news for our international students, the directive never should have been issued in the first place.

CFT President Jeff Freitas interviews Belinda Lum from Los Rios College Federation of Teachers

On CFT’s Facebook broadcast last Friday, CFT President Jeff Freitas welcomed Belinda Lum from the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers to discuss her union’s efforts to support undocumented students and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the video here.

This coming Friday at 3:00 p.m. Jeff will chat with Novato Federation of Teachers President Mariah Fisher, who will discuss the efforts of a new county-wide coalition of educators, school workers, and parents that is advocating to reopen schools only when it is safe to do so. Tune in on CFT’s Facebook page