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President of New Haven Federation of Teachers says he was not invited to talk about plan to reopen schools for students with special needs

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The president of the New Haven Federation teacher’s union says he was not invited to the table to finalize a plan to reopen schools for students with special needs.

David Cicarella, president of NHFT said Typhanie Jackson, the district’s director of students, and Superintendent Iline Tracey called him on Sept. 8 to discuss returning about 100 students to the classroom, asking teachers to volunteer to go back and proposing about nine to ten learning sites.

RELATED: New Haven Board of Ed votes to allow in-person learning for certain special needs students beginning Sept. 21

He says they also agreed to present this idea to the board on Monday to discuss the feasibility. Instead, he says he found out Tuesday morning they had presented a concrete plan without his knowledge and voted on it with the board’s approval.

Cicarella says he woke up to several messages from angry people asking why the union agreed to it. He says nothing has been presented to the teachers to give them a good idea as to how they will be kept safe in the workplace during this pandemic.

“Someone clearly sat down,. They wrote the plan put it pen to paper, posted to their site on Friday, presented it to the board on Monday, with no discussion from me or with anyone from the NHFT,” Cicarella says. “My recommendation to teachers is do not volunteer for this assignment at this point.”

We reached out to both Jackson and Tracey regarding Cicarella’s concerns but we have yet to hear back.

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