CPS board delays testing mandate for teachers, staff

Employees that refuse to get vaccinated must get tested weekly beginning Oct. 8.
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:18 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Cincinnati Public Schools’ district-wide staff testing mandate is being delayed.

The mandate encourages staff to get vaccinated but also offers an opt-out without requiring an explanation.

Employees who opt-out without explanation or claim medical/religious exemptions will need to show proof of weekly negative COVID tests.

The mandate was set to go into effect this Friday. According to our media partners at the Enquirer, it will now go into effect on Oct. 8.

The reason given by interim Superintendent Tianay Amat at Monday’s CPS Board meeting, per the Enquirer, is “technology issues.”

>> Proposed COVID vaccine requirement for CPS students similar to employees’ mandate

Upon passing the mandate earlier this month, Board Vice President Ryan Messer said they crafted a testing mandate out of concern a vaccine mandate would prompt teachers to quit.

“I think we all agree that what we’ve heard is that people who have to go through the weekly testing pretty quickly get on board with the fact that it’s pretty easy to go ahead and get the vaccine,” he said. “What we can’t afford is to not have people in our buildings to educate our kids, so we’re trying to balance that.”

Metro Bussing Partnership

Also on Monday, the CPS Board discussed bussing concerns that persist from SORTA’s route shakeup just before the start of the school year.

The board continues to gather data about kids at bus stops with the goal of meeting with SORTA to optimize routes.

“There are concerns about safety, particularly as we approach hours changing,” Board President Carolyn Jones said.

The goal is to get back as many of the previous nonstop dedicated student routes as possible. SORTA discontinued those routes on a driver shortage.

“Our position has always been that we would like to have our dedicated routes, but we’re also dealing with the realities of what they said, and that is that they don’t have drivers,” Jones said.

Jones conceded the district’s partnership with SORTA may “look different” going forward.

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