For Immediate Release
Contact: John Coneglio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – July 9, 2020 – The Columbus Education Association (CEA), the union representing more than 4,000 educators in Columbus City Schools, called upon district leadership today to put the safety of the Columbus City Schools community first by aligning the Columbus City Schools Reopening Plan with the recently released Ohio Department of Health Ohio COVID-19 Risk Level Guidelines for the Public. The Risk Level Guidelines utilize seven data indicators that identify the risk level for each Ohio county and a corresponding 1-4 risk level label. Other Franklin County school districts, including Hilliard City Schools and Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, have recently announced plans that align with these risk guidelines.

“For the safety of our school community it is imperative that our decisions about any return to in-person learning be driven by science, not the politics of inequity.” said John Coneglio, CEA President. “The district’s current blended learning plan may be appropriate at a Level Two, for example, but if Franklin County remains at a Level Three or Level Four- very high and severe exposure and spread respectively- it would be irresponsible and dangerous to bring students into our buildings.”

CEA appreciates the recent exhaustive process undertaken by Dr. Talisa Dixon’s reopening task force, which successfully identified safety, logistical, financial, and staffing challenges posed by transportation, meals, recess, class transitions, restrooms, cleaning and disinfecting, isolating students with symptoms, and a litany of other daily school activities. The next phase of planning will require negotiations between CEA and the District. CEA looks forward to working with district leaders to ensure that science is driving decision making and that health standards are stringent and enforceable as we continue to advocate for the safety of our students and school community.

The Columbus Education Association is the union representing more than 4,000 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Education Association is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.