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Auburn educators oppose reopening plan, call for hybrid model instead

The AEA is asking the committee to reconsider the hybrid model presented at its August 5 meeting,

AUBURN, Maine — The Auburn Education Association (AEA), the union that represents teachers and support staff in the district, asking that the School Committee retract its school reopening plan.

The AEA is asking the committee to reconsider the hybrid model presented at its August 5 meeting, 

Educators and administrators in Auburn collaboratively worked for months on a plan that followed state health and safety requirements while giving students the opportunity for some in-person learning. 

"The AEA believes the complete disregard for this plan by the School Committee is both unacceptable and simply not safe for the students or staff," the committee wrote in a press release.

The AEA firmly believes the current plan is not workable, with 85% of educators who responded to an AEA survey stating they oppose the School Committee proposal which allows parents to choose among the following school options: all remote, 4 days in-person or 2 days in-person/3 days remote.

“Educators in Auburn have serious concerns with the current re-opening plan. We worked for months collaboratively with administrators on a re-opening plan we felt both provided learning for our students while keeping all safety requirements in mind. The safety of our students and staff needs to be the number one priority which is why, as teachers and support staff in Auburn, we can’t sit idly by and let the School Committee make a decision we know isn’t safe,” said Courtney Pierce, Auburn teacher and President of the Auburn Education Association.

Additionally, 69 percent of educators surveyed believe that it is “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” their workplaces will be able to SAFELY reopen for any amount of in-person teaching in the fall.

“It is clear educators in Auburn believe we can’t move forward with this plan. We know our school buildings best and there simply isn’t enough space to keep kids far enough apart, according to CDC guidelines. We have to do better,” added Pierce.

The Auburn Education Association is organizing a stand-in on August 12 at 5:30 p.m. outside in the parking lot behind Auburn Hall to send a message to the School Committee that educators want a safe, effective school plan for all students and staff.