Skip to Content

NEA Calling on Schools Nationwide to Close

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García: It is necessary to protect our students, educators, communities

WASHINGTON - March 16, 2020 -

After reviewing the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NEA is calling on schools across the country to close.

The following can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

"NEA’s primary concern remains the health, safety, and welfare of students, families, and educators, as well as the health and safety of the broader community. After reviewing the latest CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 and school closures, NEA is calling on all schools to immediately close for at least two weeks.

"The CDC has recommended banning all gatherings of more than 50 people, but exempted schools. We are calling on the CDC to update their guidance and include schools for the safety of everyone.

"We commend the state and district leaders who have already prioritized the safety of our students. Like them, we do not take this decision lightly. Closing schools is not only needed, but also necessary to protect our students, our educators, and our communities.

"It is precisely because of this focus on community health that NEA is working with every state affiliate to ensure that employees are able to stay home without fear of losing income; that states and districts take all necessary steps to ensure students who rely on school meals still are able to access them, including keeping relevant school sites open; that each and every student has access to appropriate learning resources; and that all members of the community are fully supported in caring for their health and the health of those around them."


The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

Contact: Celeste Busser, Senior Media Strategist
(202) 262-0589


  • Schools and Coronavirus: What You Should Know
    NEA is committed to ensuring the well-being of our members and all public school staff and students. Find important guidance and safety measures on COVID-19.