Washington Teachers' Union declines DC public schools reopening proposal

Washington Teachers' Union declines DC public schools reopening proposal
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The Washington Teachers’ Union has declined to sign a temporary agreement with D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) over the timeline and stipulations for returning to in-person learning.

Elizabeth Davis, president of the union, said the proposed agreement didn’t hit all of the qualifications requested by teachers, including that it would require educators to return to physical classrooms starting the third quarter, which begins in February. Many teachers are seeking a similar stipulation to regulations surrounding the second quarter, which give educators the option to continue teaching virtually, according to WUSA9.

“We cannot move forward with an agreement that could force anyone, regardless of preexisting conditions or their living situations, back into an in-person classroom,” Davis said.

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During a Wednesday press conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower (D) said she was not surprised to learn of Davis’s rejection of the proposal, saying, “She’s backed away from other tentative agreements.”

The agreement fell through two weeks after the DCPS delayed the partial return of in-person classes on the same day that teachers protested returning in-person via a “sick-in.”

DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee previously threatened to reopen schools with or without an agreement with the teachers’ union, but later backtracked, citing a lack of adequate teaching staff, according to The Washington Post.