Lampitt Statement on DOE Releasing School Reopening Guidance

Responding to 2020-21 school reopening guidance released by the New Jersey Department of Education today, Assembly Education Committee Chair Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) released the following statement:

“There is no vaccine or therapeutic for coronavirus. Until that becomes available, our education system cannot return to what it was and will need to continue adapting.

“The guidance released today, while a step in the right direction, is only the beginning of what must be an ongoing conversation amongst the State and school districts.

“Returning to in-person instruction comes with significant logistical and financial challenges, leaving schools to answer to a host of new complexities. These span how to stagger schedules, how to accommodate individual needs and how to cover the costs.

“This guidance will be valuable for schools as they look to promote a safe learning environment that addresses the unique needs of students, educators and the greater school community.

“That said, the 104-page guidance put forth today doesn’t give sufficient direction.

“In giving greater flexibility on decision-making, it has put tremendous responsibility on individual districts to figure out how to ‘make it happen’ without much accountability to a statewide standard.

 “To ensure every child’s educational need is met, there has to be more support given by the State to schools in the actual implementation of new requirements.”