Public school teachers in Oakland, Calif., have opted not to return to the classroom until the mandatory start date in mid-April, despite priority vaccinations and cash incentives.
School officials on Thursday, were forced to cancel their previously scheduled reopening dates next week at six elementary schools and 10 preschools, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
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After seven months of distance learning, some students were supposed to be able to head back to in-person teaching on Tuesday, as agreed to by the district and unions.
But due to a lack of teachers willing to come back before April 14, high needs pupils, including homeless, foster and special needs students, will not be able to get into classrooms ahead of time, the newspaper reported.
“At this time, we simply do not have enough staff who opted in for in-person instruction to open our classrooms to K-2 and priority students on Tuesday,” a Cleveland Elementary School official said in a letter to parents. “Although this is disappointing news, please know that we are working hard to make sure we find every way possible to serve our students safely.”
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Oakland parents frustrated with the district and union’s inability to force teachers to return for in-person teaching on Tuesday have called the situation “laughable.”
Fox News could not immediately reach Oakland School Board Director Shanthi Gonzales for comment, but she described the lack of teacher volunteers as “disappointing” Friday.
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“Parents are very frustrated and in particular children who’ve experienced isolation, depression, all of those things,” she told the Chronicle. “It’s disappointing, and I’m very sympathetic to the families. I wish more teachers were volunteering.”