Virginia Education Association calls for virtual learning amid rising COVID-19 cases


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Education Association is suggesting that all Virginia schools either return to or continue with remote learning through at least mid-January.

The VEA is a teachers union made up of 40,000 educators and school support staff members.

The organization is making this call after COVID-19 cases in Virginia began rapidly increasing with the seven-day moving average increasing to 3,791. The seven-day moving average was 2,588 cases on Thanksgiving.

The organization explains that teachers also want school to return to normal and be taught in-person but the case count is too high.

“The numbers don’t lie, and the human toll behind each of those numbers demand that we pause in-person learning until the situation rights itself,” said VEA President Dr. James J. Fedderman.

Fedderman continues and says he and the organization wants the governor, superintendent and school boards to immediately order a switch to virtual learning in public schools. He explains that with the spike in cases during Thanksgiving he also expects there will be another increase after the winter holidays.

“Those governing our public schools owe it to the students, their families and communities, and our hard-working teachers and support professionals to minimize the exposures, not compound them,” Fedderman said.

Fedderman says students must continue learning but using safer options when available. In his statement he recognizes that virtual learning is not the perfect substitute to traditional schooling but says it is the “safest and wisest” option.

“Learning losses will be made up,” Fedderman said, “but loss of life cannot be.”

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