Pasco Teachers Union wants all distance learning for students (Google maps PHS)
Pasco Teachers Union wants all distance learning for students (Google maps PHS)

According to news reports and the Pasco Association of Educators (PAE) which is the local teachers union, students in all grades should be returned to distance learning.

According to information from the PAE, as well as a report from KNDU-TV, the district is facing shortages of educators. Due to illness, COVID quarantines and other related factors, teacher shortages are reportedly plagueing the District. Richland has made similar claims, they don't have enough substitutes.

Both Districts are engaged in some form of hybrid learning for K-through 5th graders. Kennewick has not reported any similar issues. Richland has made similar claims, saying they cannot get enough substitutes.

According to the PAE, a survey was sent to teachers, and PAE President Scott Wilson says of the 790 respondents, 80 percent don't feel safe returning to classrooms. Until local case counts drop, Wilson claims students need to return to full distance learning.

However, sources tell us those 790 do not represent the entire PSD workforce. Data from the PSD website shows a total of 2,288 employees. If these, 1,232 are certified, 1,056 are considered classified or exempt. Certified generally refers to educators who are full fleged teachers with a certificate and training necessary to teach fulltime.

So, presuming that is the case, the study was not returned by 442 certified teachers-workers. We have been contacted by some Pasco educators who have said they are eager to get back to the classroom; others have publicly posted that view on social media. One even said they would "teach any class, anytime."

If you include the classified workers, a number of those would include substitutes and para-educators, and those non-response numbers to the survey could be even higher.

This information from the PAE has been met with mixed results from parents in the community.  While some say it makes sense, many others are very unhappy with what they believe is 'feet dragging' at the expense of children in the District.

Wilson, according to KNDU-TV said he hoped the community would do their part to help bring high COVID numbers down.


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