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HGEA presses for fair health & safety guidelines for 4th quarter return

March 14, 2021

In meetings led by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and Hawaii House Speaker Rep. Scott Saiki, HGEA has been working with a group of school stakeholders including the unions, the Department of Education (DOE), the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and who all agree on the importance of bringing more students back to in-person learning in the 4th quarter of this school year.

HGEA stood up at these meetings to make sure that our members are not blindsided or shortchanged by teacher demands and issues that the DOE may agree to. HGEA pressed the DOE to make sure ALL school employees are treated equally in any agreement the DOE may reach with the teachers and when implementing the updated CDC and DOH guidelines. We expect the DOE leadership to follow through with its assurances.

In these meetings, Senator Schatz, Speaker Saiki, the unions and the DOE diligently pushed the DOH for clarity in their guidelines to help principals and school leaders devise their plans. DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said from feedback she received from principals, schools will implement rolling strategies in the 4th quarter for increasing on-campus student capacity according to their schools' specific needs and situations.

We've told this group that our members have been the employees on campus throughout this pandemic. We know how hard you've been working and adapting to all of the changes and that HGEA members NEVER QUIT! Thank you for all that you do and for being HGEA Strong!

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