Majority of 4,700 MEA Members Surveyed Concerned About Safe Return to In-Person Learning

Educators want to be part of the decision-making process, solution

EAST LANSING – The Michigan Education Association today released a statewide online survey of more than 4,700 educators with findings related to COVID-19’s continued impact on public education. The survey found a vast majority of educators are concerned about a full return to in-person learning as cases spike statewide.

“The health and safety of our public school students, educators and families has never been more important as we continue to see COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the state,” MEA President Paula Herbart said. “This survey shows us Michigan’s public school employees are concerned about the safety of re-opening for full in-person learning, with their personal safety and that of their students and colleagues as their top priorities.

“With COVID-19 cases on the rise it has never been more important for our front-line educators to be involved in any decisions about a safe return to school,” Herbart added. “We will bring the findings of our survey to policymakers and decision-makers so they understand what front-line educators are feeling and doing regarding this pandemic.”

More than 4,700 teachers, support staff and other public school employees who are MEA members responded to the online survey conducted Nov. 5-11. Key findings include:

  • 84 percent are concerned about the safety of re-opening for full in-person learning.
  • Of those, 72 percent listed personal safety, 71 percent listed student safety, and 66 percent listed safety of colleagues as top concerns.
  • Of those not fully in-person currently, 68 percent said it’s unlikely their districts will be ready to reopen for full in-person learning in January, as some districts are planning
  • 91 percent of those who have returned to some level of in-person learning said mask wearing is being observed by employees.
  • 78 percent of those who have returned to some level of in-person learning said mask wearing is being observed by students.
  • 18 percent of those who have returned to some level of in-person learning said social distancing is being observed by students.
  • 37 percent said they are required to report to their workplace — even if working remotely.
  • 74 percent want either full virtual learning or a hybrid model at this time.
  • 47 percent said their concerns have not been addressed in their school district’s plans for a safe return to school.

To view details about the survey results, go to https://test-web.mea-it.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/MEA-coronavirus-educator-survey-111720-memo-and-slides.pdf. A recording of the press conference is available at https://youtu.be/c52QDq4WWSc.

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