Illinois – Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued this statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s mask mandate for schools.
“We continue to be thankful for Governor Pritzker’s steady leadership throughout the pandemic. As school resumes soon in most Illinois districts, we welcome his updated mask mandate. With the large number of unvaccinated individuals and the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant in Illinois, requiring masks in all schools is a prudent course of action. “Science tells us that a layered approach will go a long way towards helping keep schools open and students, staff, and communities safe. In addition to mask wearing, we strongly urge all school districts and institutions of higher education to employ additional safety measures, including physical distancing, regular handwashing, adequate building ventilation, and regular COVID testing of students and educators. “The sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in our state is a stark reminder that this pandemic is far from over. It is the responsibility of every one of us to do whatever is necessary to keep one another safe and bring this pandemic to an end. Our union takes that responsibility seriously and will continue to fight to help make that happen.”
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The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.