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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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Restart--GSCS Response to Governor's Press Conference 8-12-20
This afternoon, Governor Murphy announced that school districts that have met the minimum health and safety standards described in "The Road Back" will be allowed to reopen for in-person/hybrid instruction in September. Those that do not meet the standards will be allowed to open for remote-only instruction, provided that those districts present plans and deadlines for meeting those criteria...'

GSCS RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR MURPHY'S NEWS CONFERENCE ON SCHOOL REOPENING, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2020 This afternoon Governor Murphy announced that school districts that have met the minimum health and safety standards described in "The Road Back" will be allowed to reopen for in-person/hybrid instruction in September. Those who do not meet the standards will be allowed to open for remote-only instruction, provided that those districts present plans and deadlines for meeting those criteria. We appreciate the Governor's intention to provide local flexibility in a diverse state where home rule remains important, but also look forward to the regional and incident-specific guidance described by New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Persichilli today. We and many other groups have long called for that guidance. Our educators excel in their profession, but they are not health professionals, and should not have the responsibility of making public health decisions. Even with the NJDOH guidance on criteria for in-person/hybrid opening, we believe there will still be debate and discussion about technical subjects like ventilation. Educators may continue to find themselves at the mercy of competing interests inside and outside their communities. Decisions will be made based on factors that have very little to do with education. Being forced to make decisions in this way works against the best interests of all members of the education community. When in-person/hybrid education resumes, some COVID incidence in New Jersey districts is virtually inevitable. Liability will remain squarely on the shoulders of district superintendents and boards of education. This liability exposure is not an insignificant consideration and threatens to take resources away from those who need them most-our students. School opening draws closer by the day. We are grateful to Governor Murphy, Interim Commissioner Dehmer and Commissioner Persichilli for their efforts to answer some of the many questions still in the minds of educational leaders. We look forward to continuing on the path that will ultimately lead to full resumption of in-person education.

Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828



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