Sign Petition Here: https://tinyurl.com/y6s7zjw2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2020
Lydia Howrilka (email below for phone number)
Claudia Giordano (email below for phone number)
NEW YORK: The Solidarity Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers calls for the resignation of schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
As the pandemic related to the COVID-19 crisis continues, the union’s second largest caucus has begun a petition calling for the resignation of schools chancellor Richard Carranza.
Alarmed at what they have concluded is a dangerous and unsustainable safety plan, public school educators affiliated with the second largest caucus of the United Federation of Teachers have begun efforts that they hope will lead to the resignation of New York City School Chancellor Richard Carranza. The Solidarity Caucus has started a petition that they believe will, eventually lead the school’s chief to step down.
Solidarity’s decision, made Friday following an internal review of de Blasio’s plan, came after a long period of self imposed relative silence where the group of educators had refrained from taking any public stance out of what they called respect for the difficult job the mayor and chancellor are facing.
After examining the city’s safety plan and recalling the track record of city officials thus far, the union caucus has concluded that too many students, families and staff will become sick if the current leadership team remains in place.
The caucus’ leadership council released the following statement in support of their decision:
The one million school children, their families, and the hundreds of thousands of faculty and staff of NYC Public Schools, deserve competent and trustworthy leadership, more so than ever in these increasingly difficult and uncertain times of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mayor and the Chancellor have consistently failed to provide that leadership and instead, continue to create confusion and chaos despite the urging of government representatives, multiple parent and community groups, the teachers union, and other advocates for public education, to work towards a solution that puts the health and safely of our most vulnerable citizens, our children, above and beyond any political pressure to “reopen” and ultimately putting ALL at risk for exposure to COVID-19.
We are teachers and parents and have read your plan. We still do not feel safe. We should not return to school unless there has been a minimum of 14 days without new cases. Given the fact that schools have had their budgets slashed, we know this will greatly impact their ability to have adequate custodial personnel needed to clean schools during the day and at night. We do not believe that Chancellor Caranza understands this reality.
THEREFORE we, the undersigned are calling for the immediate resignation and removal of New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, and the creation of a non-partisan, multi-level task force to help assist Mayor DeBlasio to achieve the level of competence critical to ensuring the health, safety, and future of the children and families we serve as NYC educators.
As Solidarity member Elizabeth Dacquisto, teacher at IS 318 school in Brooklyn has pointed out, “I feel that the mayor’s and chancellor’s plan fails to address the multiple safety concerns previously raised by teachers and staff in DOE schools. After it took our schools so long to close in March, how do we know the DOE will do an adequate job with contact tracing and shutting down schools swiftly and safely? They have no room for error and yet there is too much ambiguity in their plan.”
Public school parent and teacher Odalis Santana asserted that, “As an educator and parent of children in elementary and middle schools, I am extremely not confident with schools opening in the fall. Given all the data we have on COVID and the unnecessary countless lives lost within the DOE, I don’t want my children being statistics. We don’t feel safe!”
Solidarity member Claudia Giordano, retired Art teacher, mentioned: “This is a national crisis of leadership starting from the White House on down to impacting every school district.”
Solidarity Caucus member and former UFT presidential candidate Lydia Howrilka told caucus members “This announced plan for dealing with COVID cases in schools is reactionary in nature, not broad enough in its scope and, I believe, simply unsustainable when considering the recent track record of the City and of the Department. While I am disappointed, the 3,600 UFT members who support us must know now that this is another example of a pattern of leadership that simply does not make the grade . It is time for us to act.”