February 4, 2021
Governor Roy Cooper
North Carolina Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Secretary Mandy Cohen
Office of the Secretary
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
2001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2000
Dear Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen:
We write to you on behalf of North Carolina’s 201 public charter schools, and the thousands of teachers, administrators, and support staff who serve charter students every day. Along with their peers in district schools, charter educators are working tirelessly to teach students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, some have lost their lives to the virus. The NC charter community grieves, like so many others.
As they seek to enter or re-enter their classrooms, our teachers must be armed with maximum protection against the virus. In keeping with this goal, we ask you to expedite vaccinations for North Carolina’s public K-12 educators.
We understand that K-12 educators, as frontline essential workers, are already scheduled to be vaccinated as part of Group 3, following the Group 1 and Group 2 vaccinations that are currently underway. However, we request that you prioritize, within Group 3, those frontline essential workers who do their jobs in the public sphere, vaccinating them in Part A, or the first wave, of Group 3. This would encompass expediting Group 3 vaccinations for all public frontline workers, such as teachers, school administrators, K-12 support staff, police officers, and first responders. The second wave, or Part B, of the Group 3 vaccinations could be allocated to frontline essential workers in the private sector.
Earlier this week, you and other state leaders called on more schools around the state to open for in-person learning. As advocates for the state’s public charter school community, we support this worthwhile goal. The pandemic and related school closures have resulted in devastating lost learning opportunities for North Carolina’s students.
However, we must also ensure that charter and other public K-12 educators receive their vaccinations as quickly as possible, so they can safely and reliably perform their essential roles in person. While educators are committed to doing their part and continuing to follow established public health protocols, they should be able to do so knowing that the state is striving to prioritize their health and safety by expediting their vaccinations.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance.
North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools
North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools
cc: Superintendent Catherine Truitt
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Chairman Eric Davis
North Carolina State Board of Education
Mr. Dave Machado
Director, North Carolina Office of Charter Schools