Teachers’ Union Boss Talks Reopening Schools [VIDEO]
Jackie Lansdale, President of the Red River United Teachers Union, talks to 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the CDC guidelines for reopening schools in the fall.
Lansdale first makes the point that the Center for Disease rules, which were made public on Wednesday, are "painting with a broad brush."
"It has to be," Lansdale says. "It's like anything else in public education. We've always had to negotiate, to figure out the logistics of providing educational strategies and keeping students safe at the same time. That's what we've done and that's what we'll continue to do."
And in addressing the criticism that the CDC's rules are draconian and overly complicated. "I think everybody believes it, that they were overly broad. When you look at Caddo Parish, for example, you have a district that is huge. It had rural areas, suburban areas, urban areas. So, you have to have a plan that (takes into consideration) what you have. It all begins with the schools. How do we get the children into our schools and safely educate them."
Then the union president, in talking about a possible return to the classroom this fall, indirectly discusses a new normal. "In the schools, we provide 63,720 instructional minutes. You can provide them however you want to, as long as you get there," Lansdale says, "It may be a longer school year. It may be staggering students every other day. It may be students going a half day. It may be students choosing between 'distance learning' and going to the classroom. There's a number of things that can be done."