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White House works with teacher groups for back-to-school COVID-19 safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As millions of children are heading back to school, the White House is working with two teacher organizations to keep kids in their classrooms safe, especially as Omicron cases surge nationwide.

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The Biden Administration says the big pushes for the new school year are vaccination and testing. Federal officials are working with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers to help school staff get booster shots. Those two organizations collectively represent more than five million teachers.

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Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers, said they’re sharing vaccine information with teachers and hosting vaccination clinics during school events

Weingarten believes after two school years in a pandemic, they do have the necessary resources to address COVID-19.

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But now, she said teachers need more support to tackle learning loss.

“We need to actually create more social and emotional learning and wrap services around schools, we need to focus on reading, we need to help kids get their mojo back and we need to respect teachers, so people stay in the profession and come into the profession,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.

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Educators say they also want districts to improve and upgrade ventilation systems at schools as an additional precaution.

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