Below is the transcribed July interview with NEA President Becky Pringle by CNN Reporter Fredricka

Whitfield. There is a special appearance by Dr. Fauci.

"So as states get ready for the fall school semester, the CDC is announcing new guidance to help them

prepare. The new guidance emphasizes a need for in-person learning. the CDC also wants schools to offer

vaccinations on site. And to allow employees, paid leave to get vaccinated. The CDC says, anyone

unvaccinated should still wear masks and social distancing at schools remains encouraged. Here to talk to

me about all of this is President of the National Education Association, Becky Pringle. Ms. Pringle so good to 

see you," said interview

"It is so good to be with you Fredricka."


"So this new CDC guidance centers around getting students back into the classroom, know just two

days ago the state of California passed a bill requiring public schools off of (the) remote learning option next

year. So I imagine you agree with the CDC on the importance of in-person learning, but it also seems as

though there are a lot of contingencies here. Can they be met?"

"Fredricka, I think you probably know that I taught science for over 30 years. And can I say I just first say...

(it's) so refreshing, encouraging and hopeful that we have a president who actually believes in science?

And I have been saying all year long, follow the science, listen to the healthcare professionals, the Infectious

Disease experts so that they can guide our thinking. None of us have ever been through this before and so

we don't know. And especially with the new variant, the Delta variant, right on our doorstep. You just

reported how that is spreading across the country. It is so important that we're listening to the CDC guide-

lines and we are very very hopeful! You know I was in school a couple of weeks ago, an elementary school,

and I talked to the educators there. And one of the things they said to me was they are so excited, looking

forward to being back, all of their children, being back in the fall. And so, they're planning to do that right

now. And with the American Plan Rescue money, they are improving their ventilation. They're making sure

they have PPE. And they can disinfect, they can socially distance where they can. But they're making sure t

hat they are also involved, the educators involved in the community, to try to make sure that all adults can

be vaccinated- are vaccinated. That is still the single best preventative strategy for our kids, even the ones

who can't be vaccinated if our community rates are low."

So I do hear your underlying message, especially as a science teacher. And even Dr. Fauci has said too that

science is about being adaptive. So there have to be, there are lots of things that are learned about this virus,

about our behaviors, about these variants all along the way. So we all have to be adaptive, even though

you've got this, a CDC guidelines that are really encouraging people you know, to make some more adjust-

ments. This was Dr. Fauci just this week, 'I think the message from the CDC is clear and I totally agree with them. We want all the children back in, in-person classes in the fall term for sure. And want to do everything we can to make sure that happens. Now obviously depending on the age of the children, some will be vaccinated, some not. Those who are not vaccinated should be wearing mask.' Ok so that's where it's going to get confusing and difficult. Is that not enough for the fall semester? And there are lots oof states who have done away with mask mandates. And so they've also conveyed that in school it's not required. But then when you have children who are too young to be vaccinated and we're hearing from the CDC and Dr. Fauci now, about the danger of this Delta variant. Do you believe that parents, families are going to invite the idea of sending their kids back to school with masks again?"

"Fredricka, I could not agree more with Dr. Fauci that in-person learning is exactly what all of our students need. You know that all of our educators, including me, have been saying that all year- that we want to be back in-person with our students. We did the best we could in a virtual environment,

but we know we need to be with them and we know we want to be with them. However, we have to make sure that we are keeping them safe. We have to make sure we're keeping families safe. We have to make sure we're keeping educators safe. And something that's not talked about a lot...we had schools that were open all year long. They started in September and stayed open and the difference between those that stayed open and those that didn't is that the community stayed together. Parents and families, all the educators, healthcare professionals they came together often times forming committees, so that as the new CDC guidelines came out. You're right, you're absolutely right we're continuing to learn. they came together and they talked about it. And they made sure they had the mitigation strategies in places. So we're going to continue to educate the public about that:  why it's important to continue to wear masks where people are not vaccinated. And we know some or our kids are not. But also to come together and do what's best for our students. So not only can they come back to they can stay in school."

"Becky Pringle such a pleasure having you. That you so much."

Here is the CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools- Key Takeaways (updated July 9, 2021):

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.

  • Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.  Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.

  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

  • CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.

  • Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.

  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.

  • Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households.

  • COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels.

  • Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).




The Ohio Education Association wishes to thank Paolo DeMaria for his long service to students and Ohioans, most recently as the State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction during an important time in the state’s education policy history.


“Paolo deserves a lot of credit for the way he has brought people from divergent perspectives together to work toward bettering the lives of Ohio’s students,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “His leadership on the strategic planning process and commitment to equity and inclusion deserve high praise. He has set a high bar for the next person to hold the position.”

OEA and all Ohio taxpayers also owe DeMaria a debt of gratitude for his department’s investigation into the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), which revealed the largest taxpayer fraud in the state’s history. The school eventually shut down in 2018 after DeMaria’s department had revealed ECOT had been paid at least $80 million to educate students the school didn’t actually educate.

“Paolo showed courage taking on ECOT – a school that had long been held unaccountable by policymakers,” DiMauro said. “Revealing the taxpayer fraud that school perpetrated sent an incredibly important message that continues to resound in Ohio’s education community.”


























The Southwestern Ohio Education Association Member Scholarship was established by the Executive Committee and presented to the Representative Assembly in the spring of 2003.

The $1,000 Scholarship will be awarded to a member pursuing a career advancement course of study. Applicants must be a current member and have been a member of the Southwestern Ohio Education Association for the last three consecutive years. SWOEA membership must be maintained during the duration of the award. In order to sustain SWOEA membership, consideration will not be given to those seeking administrative certification or licensure. A member may receive this scholarship only once. Current members of the SWOEA Executive Committee will not be considered for the scholarship. The completed application must be received by SWOEA by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Criteria and Additional Information:


  1. The applicant must be pursuing a career advancement course of study.

  2. The scholarship must be used for coursework and related costs.

  3. Funds will be dispersed upon receipt of a summary of progress, grade card, or transcript. You must also include a copy of your receipt for tuition, books, etc.

  4. Reimbursement of the coursework and related expenses must be submitted by August 30, 2022.

  5. The finalists must be available for an interview on the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 2021.

  6. The scholarship recipient will be announced to the Fall Representative Assembly on November 13, 2021.















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