PSEA responds to NEA announcement on vaccine requirements for school staff

My PSEA Login



PSEA responds to NEA announcement on vaccine requirements for school staff

For further information contact:
Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (August 12, 2021) – PSEA President Rich Askey today issued the following statement related to vaccinating school employees in Pennsylvania against COVID-19, after the National Education Association announced its support for mandatory vaccinations and testing for school employees.

“PSEA members want to get back to the classroom and be with our students in person. And we want to do that as safely as possible. Following the advice of scientists and medical experts is how we do it in a way that reduces health risks for students, school staff members, and their families.

“Gov. Wolf has made it clear that he does not intend to call for a statewide mandate on COVID-19 vaccinations in public schools, so decisions about whether to require school staff members to be vaccinated will be made at the local level.

“Where school districts are considering vaccination requirements, we strongly encourage them to work with PSEA’s local leaders and collaborate on policies that make sense for the school community. PSEA will support those efforts where they occur and do everything possible to ensure that these policies are designed to reduce health risks for everyone who works and learns in public schools.

“We’re very pleased that between 85 and 90 percent of school staff members in Pennsylvania are already vaccinated against COVID-19. By the end of March, 75 percent of school employees had received the vaccine through Pennsylvania’s school staff vaccination program. Whether it is mandated or not, PSEA encourages all members who are able to be vaccinated to get the vaccines.”

Askey is a music teacher in the Harrisburg School District and 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.