On Friday, Governor John Bel Edwards proclaimed that all public schools in the state shall close beginning Monday, March 16th until Monday, April 13th and any gatherings of more than 250 people shall halt. Additionally, he has suspended the requirement for 63,720 instructional minutes per year.
This is an unprecedented action to address an unprecedented crisis and we fully support these measures which are designed to keep all Louisiana residents safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. However, it is vital that our State and Federal Government do everything possible to support those who are impacted by this pandemic.
The Governor has waived restrictions on unemployment insurance for those who are impacted by COVID-19 and those who must miss work to care for children out of school or family impacted by the virus. This is an important step, but we must also ensure that no teachers or school staff miss a paycheck or experience any gap in insurance coverage and all families who must miss work to care for their children receive immediate financial relief. Moreover, we stand with the Governor in asking all able schools continue to provide meals and other essential services.
On Saturday, March 14th AFT is hosting a nationwide tele-town hall for AFT members to highlight what we know, provide our recommendations and answer your questions. In order to join the call, you must R.S.V.P. by midnight on Friday.
As our officials do what they can to mitigate the spread of this virus, we must also each do our part to protect those around us. For more information about the virus, how to protect yourself and how to keep those around you from getting sick, please visit: aft.org/coronavirus.