AASA Issues Statement on COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-875-0723
703-774-6953 (cell)
jminichello@aasa.org

Alexandria, Va. – March 17, 2020 – On behalf of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, representing the nation’s public school superintendents, Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech, issued the following statement. 

“Superintendents are working around the clock to support students, teachers and school staff on what matters most right now in this unprecedented public health crisis: their health and safety.

“With the ever-evolving set of information and parameters available to state and local education and health agency officials, and the fact that we are learning about COVID-19 at the exact same time we are asking school system leaders to navigate it, it is imperative that information available from the federal government be clear, concise and consistent.

“We understand the appropriate concern with acknowledging the importance of state and local leadership in decisions about school closure, which makes it even more critical that upon reviewing available federal information and recommendations, local leaders aren’t left asking, ‘What?’. To that end, AASA calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House to clarify their recommendations to schools.

“On Sunday, the CDC advised against gatherings of more than 50 people but made clear that did not apply to organizations including schools. On Monday, the President advised all Americans to avoid groups of more than 10. Given the average classroom is nearly twice the size recommended by the President, and that an individual school often enrolls well more than the CDC-recommended 50-person threshold, school system leaders are rightfully asking, ‘Why are the numbers different, why do the numbers not apply to schools, and what does this really mean for schools?’.  

“With the unprecedented set of events unfolding in our nation and in our schools at this time, AASA calls on the federal government to clarify its recommendations to better inform the real-time decisions that need to be made.”

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For specific questions, please contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, advocacy & governance, at nellerson@aasa.org.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.