School start dates pushed back as LFT pushes for passage of HEROES Act

School start dates pushed back as LFT pushes for passage of HEROES Act

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - This year there are new challenges accompanying the start of the school year.

“We have to take their temperature, we’ll have to see how that goes, how do they move from class to class at lunchtime,” said St. Tammany public schools interim superintendent, Pete Jabbia.

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools made the decision to officially push back the start date, allowing for more professional development days for teachers, and staggering students coming back to class in smaller groups.

“We have three plans in place right now we’re ready to do distance-learning we’re ready to do a hybrid and we’re ready to do a traditional… I know we have some people don’t feel safe don’t want to come back to school but the majority of our parents want to know something,” said Jabbia.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers actually found a majority of parents and teachers statewide don’t feel comfortable sending their student back to school, with nearly 60 percent of 14,000 respondents citing health and safety concerns.

“It was kind of expected here in terms of the conversations we’ve been having for months,” said president, Larry Carter.

Carter now pushing support for the HEROES Act that’s waiting passage in the senate. If passed, Louisiana public schools could stand to gain millions of dollars to help make returning to school safer.

“We don’t see where there’s adequate funding statewide being put into the school district let alone from the federal government right now,” said Carter.

“For working class parents to be able to go back to work they need their children to be back in school,” said Robert Collins, PH.D.

Political analyst Robert Collins says the senate will likely pass the HEROES Act.

“With more states closing down and putting more restrictions in place which will have a negative effect on the economy I do think there’s a lot more pressure on the republican members of the senate go ahead and pass the HEROES act,” said Collins.

Regardless of the outcome of the HEROES act, school leaders say they’re doing their best to prepare everyone for a challenging school year.

“Is it a flawless plan no its going to be fluid we’ll have to do what we need to do but we feel this is the best we can do to inform parents and teachers and this is where we’ll begin and depending on the guidance we’ll go from there,” said Jabbia.

St. Tammany Public Schools says the plan could very well change as different advice and directives come down.

Students’ first full day will be August 17.

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.