January 13, 2021

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb
Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797

Dear Gov. Holcomb:

I write to you with a sense of urgency regarding the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

It’s no secret that our economy’s health relies upon children being in classrooms. Parents must be free to report to their workplaces, or minimally during the pandemic, to work virtually without the handicap of childcare concerns. Schools play a critical role in not only educating our nation’s children but in serving in this essential daycare capacity. Now that the Covid-19 vaccine is being distributed in Indiana to our frontline healthcare and public safety workers – and rightfully so – it’s time to think seriously about vaccinating the next essential tier of workers: K-12 educators.

Teachers deserve to work in safe conditions. With the teacher shortage its own crisis, and the increasing difficulty finding substitute teachers, especially during the pandemic, vaccinating our educators is even more pressing. Once they are protected by the vaccine, students can return to school buildings in greater numbers, and hybrid models can become a thing of the past.

I realize that many special interest groups are competing for your attention to obtain the vaccine for their constituents. We all deserve to be safe from Covid-19. But educators should be a priority group. When teachers are safe from Covid-19 transmission, children can be back in the classrooms – where they belong – and parents can get back to focusing on their career responsibilities and be more productive. And our state’s economy will be better for it.

Tim Mulherin, CEO

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