PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day.
Emily Nell came back to teach art and make an impact after spending 14 years as an independent artist working in schools and holding benefit auctions.
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PSEA is committed to making changes aimed at protecting everyone who works and learns in our schools.
More than 112,500 school employees were vaccinated through the educator vaccine initiative, Gov. Wolf said.
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KINGSTON, PA (April 2, 2021) – As Pennsylvania’s educator vaccine initiative draws to a close this week, PSEA President Rich Askey thanked key state officials and policymakers who made the program a huge success over the past month.
“It’s hard to believe that it was only a month ago when Pennsylvania launched this special vaccine initiative for educators, support professionals, and childcare workers,” Askey said at a press conference at Luzerne Intermediate Unit #18 today. “Thanks to many of the people here today, we have gotten shots in the arms of well over 100,000 hardworking professionals who teach and work with our young people. That is extraordinary!”
As of Friday, more than 112,500 school employees were vaccinated through the educator vaccine initiative, Gov. Tom Wolf said. Every educator and support professional in Pennsylvania who wants a vaccine has been given the opportunity to get one.
“Today is a turning point in the lives of our schools and our students here in Pennsylvania, and PSEA’s members are so excited about what lies ahead,” Askey said. “Some schools are reopening their doors after many months of remote instruction, while many more are expanding their schedules to bring students back into the classroom more days of the week.
“This is happening thanks to everyone who took decisive action one month ago to get vaccines out to those school employees who want them. You have helped ensure a safer environment for in-person instruction in our schools — protecting the health of educators, support professionals, students, and their families.”
The state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, which includes Wolf administration officials and a bipartisan group of legislators, approved a plan in early March to designate doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for school staff members. Vaccinations have been administered through intermediate units across the state in partnership with local school districts and with assistance from the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Askey thanked Gov. Wolf and the members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force for creating the program, as well as the state’s 28 intermediate units, school administrators, and the National Guard for the important role they’re playing.
Askey emphasized that, despite the success of the vaccine initiative, schools still must follow safety measures to keep students and staff safe in buildings. Students under 16 are not able to receive any of the three vaccines approved for use in the United States, so caution is still very important.
“The pandemic isn’t over, but we are on a path to getting more students back into the classroom and our economy back on track,” Askey said. “And that is a milestone that we have been looking forward to for a long, long time.”
Askey is a Harrisburg music teacher and the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 178,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.