Wisconsin’s largest teachers union calls for state to decide when schools should close due to COVID-19

Samantha West:

Wisconsin’s largest teachers union wants state health officials to decide when schools should close because of COVID-19, arguing local health department guidance is inconsistent and potentially dangerous.

The demand comes as the Wisconsin Education Association says it continues to receive hundreds of complaints from educators who feel unsafe in the classroom and frustrated by the state’s hands-off approach to closing schools.

A Nov. 13 letter sent to Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm called on DHS to create mandatory metrics for schools to use in determining whether classes should meet in-person or online.

Such measures wouldn’t be necessary, the letter said, “had the Republican Legislature and Wisconsin Supreme Court not thwarted your good faith efforts … to contain the virus.”

“However, we are now in a situation where the virus is out of control and DHS must use any remaining tools it has to curb its spread.”