American Rescue Plan -Advocating for Vaccines
Message From President Doromal
Last Friday, on American Rescue Plan Day of Action, I was asked to join U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings and other community leaders who have been advocating for the passage of the American Rescue Plan and an expedited vaccine schedule. My remarks are below:
It is an honor to be here today with U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings and each of you who have advocated for all citizens to get a shot in the arm, and for our country to get a shot in the arm through the COVID-19 aid and stimulus package - the American Rescue Plan.
As the President of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, I understand the challenges and anxiety that the 14,300 teachers in Orange County have faced this year as they struggled to make the impossible possible during this pandemic. In a world that is anything but normal, teachers find a way to make normal happen for their students. That is who educators are. That is what they do, no matter the circumstances, no matter the obstacles. But they need and deserve support - the support that will come from the passage of the American Rescue Plan and vaccinations.
Under President Biden’s leadership we see the promise to provide what we have been advocating for – vaccines for every teacher and safe reopening of schools. The American Rescue Plan will provide immediate aid to ensure that schools can fully open safely and quickly; so students can be provided with remedial tutoring; and families who lost their jobs can feed their families, pay their bills and have a place to live. The plan will provide funds to replace old ventilations systems and make other essential improvements to school buildings. The plan will provide for more essential COVID-19 testing and the availability of more vaccinations.
In our school district, as the governor required more students to return to face-to-face classes, teachers with ADA accommodations have been called back from teaching virtually to teach face-to-face classes. They have been told if they will not teach face-to-face, they must resign or take long-term leave. They know CDC guidelines and social distances can be impossible to follow. Thousands of teachers have left the profession because they would not risk their health or their a family member’s health to teach face-to-face classes. With the passage of the American Rescue plan and with vaccines now available to every teacher - thanks to President Biden and our friends in Congress - we may see some of these experienced and devoted teachers return.
Yesterday when it was announced that vaccines are now available to any Florida educator at this FEMA site and other places, we saw teachers come to get vaccinated and crying with relief. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. Thank you Congresswoman Demings, Lt. Colonel Troy Fisher, the FEMA officials and every national guard member here today. We see you as angels.
Finally, despite what the Florida Department of Health and our school district leaders claim, we know that there is in-school spread. Many teachers and students have gotten COVID-19 from exposure at their schools. I want to ask you to keep in your hearts and prayers the educators, students and community members who are suffering from the virus, who are hospitalized, and those who are suffering from long-term effects of COVID.
American Rescue Plan
On Saturday the American Rescue Plan passed the Senate. It will be back in the House on Tuesday and hopefully, may be signed into law next week.
This bill will provide: