Illinois Teachers Coalition calls for the state to rethink their school opening plans

Illinois Teachers Coalition calls for the state to rethink their school opening plans

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - The traditional way of going to college may change forever due to the pandemic.

A coalition of higher education held a news conference, via zoom, on Thursday morning calling on universities and colleges to rethink the way they are going about their fall semester plans.

The coalition called for more virtual classes, but understood some classes can’t be held online.

The coalition also called out Illinois Governor J.B, Pritzker and his team to rethink the plans they have laid out. The coalition stated they want decisions to be made by science not by what’s economically right.

John Miller, the president of the University Professionals of Illinois, said with all that is unknown still, it is not the time to rush back into making things normal.

“We all have a desire to go back to normal, but normal doesn’t exist and won’t for quite some time,” said Miller.

Southern Illinois Universities Faculty Administration President Dave Johnson agreed that certain classes need to be conducted face to face.

“How do we balance the added value of bringing students back to campus against health and safety concerns? If we bring thousands and thousands of students back to Carbondale, back to southern Illinois, there’s going to be an increased risk,” said Johnson.

Johnson also called on the leaders at SIU to make sure they are putting student safety first.

“I call upon Chancellor Lane, President Mahoney, to step back and think about that balance. And not to assume just because it is legal or its allowable by state guidelines that we should automatically welcome those students back up,” said Johnson.

Johnson said SIU’s reopening plan is still under some construction. But, as far as far as what campus life will look like in the fall, he said to stay tuned.

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