Recent Articles

Monday, July 27, 2020

Not Until It's Safe - Sign Our Open Letter

An open letter to union and district leadership: 

To the President of the Rochester Teachers Association, Adam Urbanski, the President of the Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals Angie Rivera, and Board of Education Non Teaching Professionals President Dan DiClemente and Lesli Myers-Small, RCSD Superintendent: 


We as parents, educators, staff members in the Rochester City School District are writing to express our support for the #14daysnonewcases campaign. As parents, we want nothing more than to keep our children safe and to work with teachers and the district to make the right choices for our children. As educators and staff, we are dues-paying members of RTA, RAP, and BENTE and need you to use our strength in numbers to stand up. Our unions and leaders must formally declare that we will not return to campus until our county reports no new cases of COVID-19 for at least 14 days.

While there’s nothing we want more than to see our students in-person again, and to see our children thrive in their school environment, it is far too dangerous for our children, our families, and our colleagues to resume in-person instruction this fall. Until it is safe, we must develop and implement a more robust distance learning program for the children. To allow our students to equitably access this distance learning program, we must also demand that our students be provided with all necessary technology, such as personal computers and high-speed internet access.

States and school districts are unveiling reckless, unethical school reopening plans that put our colleagues and their families, our students and their families, and ourselves in extreme danger. Even in countries that have far better controlled the pandemic, they have had to close schools soon after reopening them. Schools in China and South Korea have closed after infections flared up. Students and staff have contracted COVID-19 in schools after they reopened in Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Israel, forcing them to close again. The number of COVID-19 patients under 10 years old in Oregon has increased fivefold, matching the number of cases in patients over 80 years old. More than 17,000 children under the age of 18 have contracted COVID-19 in Florida alone. Now new research suggests that children transmit COVID-19 just as easily as adults do.

These trends and research clearly demonstrate that it is irresponsibly dangerous to reopen school campuses this fall. If elected officials and district officials want campuses to reopen, then they need to implement the public health measures that they should have implemented months ago, including, but not limited to: mass testing, contact tracing, and strict suspension of nonessential business and travel activity. Our governments also must provide the economic relief we and our students need to endure these public health measures, including, but not limited to: basic income, rent and mortgage cancellation, protection from eviction, and single-payer healthcare throughout the pandemic.

As educators and staff members, we know how impossible it will be to implement strict physical distancing, mask enforcement, constant sanitation, and hybrid learning on every campus in our district. As parents, we do not and should not expect our teachers and children to endure these harsh and harmful conditions emotionally, mentally and physically. We all would rather everyone stay healthy and alive than pressured into dangerous and emotionally damaging situations. We must refuse to return to campus until our county reports no new cases for at least 14 days.

We need our unions and leaders to stand up to protect all, not just the few.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Millionaires Tax Budget Action

RORE Members joined other school employees, parents, and community members across NYS  to get educated about Senator Robert Jackson's bill, The Millionaires Tax to fully fund education, and then joined in a collective action. 6/9/2020.