New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Community Organizations Join Chorus of Support for Rep. Sherrill’s Resolution Highlighting Need to Re-Open Schools

March 19, 2021
Press Release

Parsippany, NJ -- In the days following Representative Mikie Sherrill’s (NJ-11) introduction of a resolution highlighting the need to reopen schools for in-person instruction in a manner that’s safe for both students and teachers, state leaders and community organizations across the New Jersey 11th Congressional district have risen to support her resolution.

Rep. Sherrill’s resolution calls attention to the potentially lifelong impact that the pandemic is having on students, their mental health, their educational achievement, and their families. It also highlights the need to prioritize teachers and school staff in vaccination distribution and efforts to ensure the safety of students and staff alike. Additionally, Rep. Sherrill fought for the passage of the American Rescue Plan which includes an estimated $2.5 billion in funding for New Jersey schools that will help them reopen safely.

“I am so grateful for the support that this resolution has received. As a mom of four New Jersey students, this is an incredibly important and personal issue to me,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This outpouring of support for my resolution shows that tackling this crisis, getting children back in classrooms, and doing everything we can to mitigate the long-lasting impacts on our students is truly a community effort. I was thrilled to see Governor Murphy voice his support for getting students back to in-person instruction at his briefing earlier this week. Educators, school staff, working families, community organizations, and public officials should all work towards the same goal -- getting our kids back in school and providing the education they deserve.”

Here’s what community leaders and organizations are saying about Rep. Sherrill’s resolution and the crucial need to reopen schools:

“The time has come for schools to meaningfully move toward in-person instruction, and I agree with Congresswoman Sherrill that getting our kids back in school is a critical priority,” said Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ). “Thanks to the support of President Biden and elected officials like Congresswoman Sherrill, the American Rescue Plan is now giving us the tools we need to help schools reopen their doors, get educators vaccinated, and recover from this unprecedented school year. Come September, I fully anticipate that students across New Jersey will be learning in their classrooms, and that a sense of normalcy will be restored for our students.”

“NJPSA shares Congresswoman Sherrill's commitment to safely reopening all New Jersey schools and we are proud to support her resolution,” said Patricia Wright, executive Director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.  "Vaccinating educators and providing our school districts with necessary health and safety resources must be a top priority so we can safety and expeditiously open every classroom and  welcome all our students back to school. "

“The Montclair Branch of the NAACP fully supports the safe reopening of public schools for students and staff,” said Albert Pelham, President of the Montclair NAACP. “Safety includes: proper ventilation of schools; compliance with CDC guidelines; and vaccines being available for all school staff seeking to take them.”

“Throughout the pandemic school custodians and food service workers have continued working keeping our children fed and the buildings clean and disinfected. Many of them lost their jobs or were put on furlough. Some are no longer with us. But, now that they are eligible for the vaccine, it is time for them to return to work and for our children to return to in-person learning. We stand with Congresswoman Sherrill on this important step to reclaim the psychological, academic and economic wellbeing of our children, our teachers, and of course our support staff,” said Kevin Brown, Director and Vice-president for SEIU 32BJ New Jersey.

“Educating our children should always be among our nation's highest priorities — as should the safety of our students and our dedicated educators. We need our government bodies, at all levels — from the halls of Congress to each municipal Board of Education — to commit the resources and attention to make  it possible and safe for students and teachers to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. We applaud this resolution's call to make doing so a top priority,” said Leslie Bockol and Mara Novak, Co-Executive Directors of NJ 11th for Change. “This is not the time to skimp on providing necessary funds — nor is it the time for government and administration to face off as adversaries against teachers and school staff. We must provide students with what they need to learn safely, and we must provide educators with what they need to teach safely. It is time for transparency, respect, and good faith efforts on all sides.”

“It’s imperative that we do everything in our power to get students back in the classroom in a manner that’s safe for both kids and teachers. Across our community, students and families are feeling the detrimental effects of continued school closures,” said Marcia Marley, President of Blue Wave New Jersey. “Re-opening safely means prioritizing vaccinations for teachers and improving the mitigation efforts schools can conduct to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Now, thanks to the work of Rep. Sherrill and her colleagues, we have the resources and ability to do just that. We at Blue Wave New Jersey are proud to support this resolution highlighting the need to safely end this crisis and commend Rep. Sherrill for her leadership on this issue.”
 

###

 
Issues: