Atlanta school board to state: Move teachers up in vaccine line

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

The Atlanta Board of Education is joining a chorus of educators calling for teachers to get speedier access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The board on Monday unanimously approved a resolution urging the state to prioritize teachers and district staff in vaccine distribution.

Teachers are scheduled to receive vaccines as part of the state’s second wave, following health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, law enforcement and people age 65 and older. At the state’s current pace of vaccinations, teachers will not be eligible for vaccines until April at the earliest, according to Atlanta Public Schools.

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The board contends that inoculating teachers against the virus will make reopening school buildings safer for everyone. The district in late January resumed in-person classes for its youngest students and certain special education students who wanted to return. The district’s phased-in return will continue with older grades returning over the next two weeks.

The resolution states that it’s “important for APS to offer a safe in-person learning option that can be consistently implemented.”

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The resolution is just the latest vaccination advocacy by school officials. School board members from around metro Atlanta recently sent Gov. Brian Kemp a letter asking him to prioritize teacher access.