Senate GOP: Brown’s school re-open promises ring hollow

Oregon Senate Republican Press Release,

Governor Brown has mishandled nearly every aspect of the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Her administration’s mishaps range from giving seniors mixed messages on when they could receive the vaccine to sluggish distribution. Now, she is on pace to botch school re-openings.

“I share the Governor’s eagerness to open schools, but not at the expense of lying to seniors,” said Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons).

The Governor first told seniors that they would become eligible for shots starting last week. She then changed course after she mistakenly counted second doses for first doses.

Teachers are now set to receive vaccines before seniors in an attempt to return kids to school this school year. In early January, a group of teachers unions sent the Governor a letter demanding access to the vaccine before schools reopened. But now, they are moving the goalposts; The Portland Association of Teachers and other local teachers unions are balking at returning to in-person instruction.

To date, there has been no agreement with school districts and teachers unions to ensure schools will actually reopen once teachers are vaccinated.

“If teachers are going to jump the line ahead of seniors, they must go back into the classroom,” Girod continued. “The science says this vaccine is effective. We cannot allow politics to get in the way of getting our kids back to school.

“The Governor continues to say that she trusts that teachers will return to the classroom, but last time she relied on others to fulfill her plans, she ended up lying to seniors. She should not set parents and kids up for disappointment. Her words are empty until there is a guarantee that kids will get back to regular instruction. No agreement, no cutting in line – that’s the deal. We need to see something in writing.

“Governor Brown must get together with teachers unions and hammer out a plan that will result in kids back in the classroom. Without that, teachers will simply cut in front of seniors for no reason, costing lives.”