CEA poll finds educator priorities include student needs beyond learning during COVID-19 pandemic
DENVER – Colorado educators demonstrated their commitment to support the physical and mental health needs of their students during the coronavirus crisis in a survey of more than 2,400 members conducted by the Colorado Education Association, March 19-23.
While educators agreed that continuing quality student learning during school closures is their top priority, they also want to take action to halt the evictions of families from their homes and to expand access to free, healthy food at food banks during the pandemic.
“We surveyed our members to understand the challenges educators are facing during this unprecedented disruption and to see what actions they are willing to take with their union to ensure the health and safety of their communities, students and themselves,” said CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert, a high school counselor. “The high response rate tells us our members are clearly ready to lead in their communities to support students and their families under these most difficult circumstances.”
When licensed educators and education support professionals were asked about concerns that most weighed on their minds during school closures, they identified:
- Working through the challenges of distance learning with students;
- Ability of their students’ families to pay rent and afford essentials;
- Mental health supports for students;
- Students who lack access to nutritious meals at school.
“Education is important and I want the kids to still have some normalcy. I worry more about how their families are doing financially and health-wise,” remarked one licensed educator from the Adams 12 district in the survey comments.
“I worry that varying levels of access to technology will create a new kind of segregation for students,” responded an education support professional in Jefferson County.
CEA leaders and staff across the state will analyze the survey results and create opportunities to get members involved in advocating for the student-centered issues that ranked highest in the poll.
“We are a member-driven, member-led association of 39,000 members who will advocate for the issues that matter most to students, families and educators. With a proud collective voice, CEA members are ready to make bold demands and take action with their union for the schools all Colorado students deserve, even in this new reality,” Baca-Oehlert added.
Media may request a summary of the poll findings from Mike Wetzel, CEA public relations director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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