Pass the COVID-19 Safe Schools bill NOW

Members of the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. JB Pritzker, Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., and Dr. Ngozi Ezike

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The Illinois Education Association has been working since the summer of 2020 to try to get state and local officials to enforce the guidelines put into place by the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding the opening of school buildings.

It’s been difficult, and in some places, impossible.

This legislative session, IEA has introduced HB 2789, the COVID-19 Safe Schools Bill, that would codify pandemic protocols and the enforcement of those protocols. The Illinois State Board of Education has introduced six non-negotiable items it says must be included in the COVID-10 Safe Schools Bill.

Please sign the petition below to encourage state lawmakers, Gov. JB Pritzker and officials at the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health to support educators in Illinois and the students in their classrooms, on their buses, in their cafeterias and elsewhere in keeping them safe by finally putting enforcement measures in place.

To: Members of the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. JB Pritzker, Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., and Dr. Ngozi Ezike
From: [Your Name]

I urge all of you to please support the teachers, the school secretaries, the paraprofessionals, the bus drivers, the cafeteria workers and all those who have been working with the students of Illinois since the start of the pandemic by putting enforcement measures into place that will keep us – and our students – safe. Please support HB 2789!

We believe the best place for students to be is in a classroom – as long as it is safe. But when it is not, there needs to be a way we can speak up and for schools to go remote until safety violations are remedied.

ISBE has said there are six things that must be included in this law:

- the use of appropriate personal protective equipment;
- increased cleaning and disinfecting;
- social distancing;
- no more than 50 individuals gathering in one space;
- symptom screenings and temperature checks;
- and, the option for remote learning.

But when those things are not being done, there are no consequences, no where we can go to for help. Please include enforcement in this law. It’s the right thing to do for educators and students across the state of Illinois.