Our kids need our help. Right now.
Despite the consistent findings of studies cited by our health authorities that we can safely re-open elementary schools without vaccination — including Dr. Anthony Fauci¹, the California Department of Health² and the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Jose’s public schools are not open.
Even worse, despite the efficacy of vaccines for protecting against Covid-19, there is still no plan to quickly vaccinate our teachers.
Despite clear evidence that the burden of remote learning falls most heavily on lower-income children, we still are failing our most vulnerable children.
Our failure to re-open public schools violates the civil rights of our poorest families, creating a “separate but unequal” education system. High-income parents can work from home, send their kids to private schools, hire tutors, create learning pods, buy extra internet bandwidth and help their children succeed in scores of other ways. Our low-income students — despite the City spending more than $10 million to provide broadband connectivity to tens of thousands of homes — struggle with little other support and fall farther behind, while their parents must either work outside the home in essential jobs, or forego their paychecks.
We need to end the social injustice of closed public schools. Now.
We have launched a petition to urge San Jose’s 19 school districts and our health officials — State or County — to come to an agreement: we prioritize vaccinations of our K-5 school staff, starting with schools serving our hardest-hit communities. In exchange, those districts — and their staff not suffering from pre-existing medical conditions — must commit to re-open those schools for in-person instruction.