ATLANTA - Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux sent a letter to President Biden urging him to prioritize getting educators vaccinated.
This comes just after Governor Brian Kemp said the state isn't getting enough supply right now for teachers and school staff.
Representative Bourdeaux said she is deeply concerned with teachers being asked to return to the classroom right now. While she appreciates the president’s emphasis on fully reopening schools, she said there needs to be a more clear, comprehensive, and coordinated plan to operate schools safely.
"What we’ve been doing is asking our teachers to risk their lives," the congresswoman explained.
In this letter to President Biden, Rep. Bourdeaux said even though Georgia is encouraging schools to remain open, it fails to prioritize vaccinations for school staff.
"We know there are going to be lots of resources pouring into vaccination and into vaccination deployment. It just seems like it would make sense if the president is going to focus on getting everybody back to school in the first 100 days then vaccinations are gonna have to be a part of that," Bourdeaux said.
Right now, Georgia is only vaccinating the Phase 1A group which includes healthcare workers and people over 65.
"I am also really devastated by the stories I am hearing from teachers and how they do not feel like they are supported," she said.
FOX 5 News reached out to the White House regarding Bourdeaux's letter and was directed to the president’s 200-page COVID plan.
Inside the plan, the president states that "the Administration will work hand-in-hand with states and localities to ensure that first responders nationwide—along with other frontline essential workers, like teachers, school staff and childcare workers, who play such a critical role in our communities every day—have access to the vaccine as quickly as possible."
In a statement, his office said in part: "Georgia is not currently receiving enough vaccine supply to provide priority vaccination to over 400- thousand teachers and school staff."
It went on to say that "as soon as Georgia begins to receive increased vaccine supply, teachers and school staff will absolutely be included in any expanded criteria.
Bourdeaux is also urging the president to develop clear federal guidelines on safety measures across campuses.
"We are asking our teachers to go back into these environments where we are not, we don't have those basic safety guidelines, requirements, and policies in place. That is something that must be addressed as soon as possible," she explained.
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