Despite green light to reopen schools, concerns remain

Robert Walsh, Executive Director of Rhode Island’s largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association of RI. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Even though Gov. Gina Raimondo has given most public school districts in Rhode Island the green light for full in-person classes this fall, teachers and administrators still have questions and concerns.

“There is still a great deal of fear and anxiety by many parents and teachers regarding the announcement of a return to in-person schooling,” Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals said in a statement to WJAR-TV.

Raimondo made her decision based on five conditions, including on whether the coronavirus is under control. Every public school in the state will get a walkthrough by experts to make sure they are safe and properly prepared.

Bob Walsh, executive director of National Education Association Rhode Island, said his members have questions about possibly overcrowded buses and classrooms if too many parents decide it’s safe to send their children back to school.

Thomas DiPaola, executive director of the state’s School Superintendents Association, said the group’s members have questions about funding and whether they will have enough personnel.