Utah Education Association calls to move many secondary schools online
Nov 6, 2020, 5:46 PM
(West High School, Salt Lake City. Credit: Paul Nelson)
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is calling on Governor Gary Herbert to move secondary schools in high transmission areas to all online learning.
Positive COVID-19 test results have been spiking in Utah, and UEA President Heidi Matthews says more and more teachers are coming down with the virus.
“We have many secondary schools with inconsistent application of state health department guidelines. We have some new data that shows that there’s higher than average infection levels for our educators, which is very concerning,” Matthews says.
While the association believes in person learning is best academically, Matthews believes online learning would be better for now.
“The disruptions that are caused by moving from quarantine to in person to remote learning, it is creating such an untenable working situation for many of our educators,” Matthews says.
In a statement, the Utah Education Association also called on local school boards to move online if the governor does not mandate it. They also called on districts to provide students with the computers and equipment they need for online learning.
However, many parents say online learning has been a negative experience for their children. They also point out how difficult it has been for working families to get supervision or childcare when schools move back online.