MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 24 hours after it was announced Miami-Dade and Broward public schools will reopen next month, there still some concern on all sides.
“For some reason, everything is being rushed. Usually when you rush things you forget things,” said Chad Schilling, a high school teacher in Broward.
Schilling is on the fence about reopening, but added he and other teachers do want to be back in the classroom with their students.
The teacher believes district leaders want the best for everyone, but he’s still worried about the plan for cleanliness.
“They’re talking about putting money into cameras in classrooms. They can take that money and hire more custodial staff,” he said.
The president of the Broward Teachers Union made a passionate plea during Tuesday’s meeting to delay reopening.
“When people start dying, then start getting ready for the repercussions,” BTU President Anna Fusco said Tuesday.
The Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade, said she is not confident yet teachers and students will be safe in Miami-Dade.
“We want to make sure there’s social distancing, that there are hand washing stations, that there’s proper ventilation, and that children are wearing their masks,” she said.
The union is also keeping track of the increased amount of COVID-19 cases.
Board members in Miami-Dade approved their plan after a day-and-a-half-long meeting. They approved a later start date than originally proposed.
One teacher said keeping classrooms closed is doing more harm than good.
“I’m not concerned with physically going back to work. This is a disservice that we are doing to our poor students by cheating them out of their education,” said Thais Alvarez, a middle school ESOL teacher in Miami-Dade.
She also said she knows of a student who is falling behind and will do better in a classroom setting.
“She and her husband have to leave their poor middle school student home to his own devices and this poor child isn’t keeping up,” Alvarez said.
The teachers union in Miami-Dade also said class size is a concern still. They don’t know just yet many teachers will stay away from the classroom next month.
The Broward Teachers Union said its concerns have not been eased because of Tuesday’s vote. The president said there’s still confusion.
In addition to that, the union believes more there may be an increase in the number of teachers who will opt out of returning to the classroom.