NEA Representative Assembly to be held virtually

This was a health and safety measure adopted by the NEA Board of Directors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia explained. “Public health experts and doctors agree that the best way to stop the spread of this deadly disease is for people to continue social distancing while the country massively ramps up testing, tracing, and social isolation among those who test positive for COVID-19,” she said, adding, “There is no evidence to suggest that groups as large as the NEA Representative Assembly — known as the world’s largest democratic deliberative body with nearly 10,000 delegates annually — will be safe to convene in the next several months.”

There will be limits on the virtual RA. The NEA news release noted: “We understand that a virtual meeting will have its limitations as available technology cannot guarantee that we can replicate thousands of delegates conducting rigorous debate on hundreds of issues virtually. Further, due to the differences among delegates in their access to the technology, reliable WiFi and phone service, NEA could not guarantee every delegate the ability to fully participate in a virtual RA debate and vote. Therefore, because of the limitations of virtual debate and voting, we are restricted in the types of actions we can put before delegates to time-sensitive presentations, limited debate and final votes that can be delivered and returned by mail ballots.”

Read the full NEA statement here.