DeLand, FL - Volusia United Educators (VUE) President Elizabeth Albert says the face mask mandate approved by the Volusia County School Board (VCSB) this week was the right call to make at this moment in time. "What we know is we have to use every tool available and the face coverings are just one of the tools that we have available. Although it is not what any of us want to do, it is a necessary step."
The biggest issue now, according to Albert, is the job that ABM, the contracted custodial service for the district, is doing in the schools. She says conditions have not improved with all of the attention that's been given to ABM and she believes that things have gotten worse."Our schools are still filthy. The district cannot guarantee that the environment in which our adults come to work and which our children come to learn is clean and sanitary. There's no way that they can do that."
In March of this year, VCSB approved a planned pilot in-house custodial operation at 15 schools, in order to compare the efficacy and the quality of the cleaning as compared to the contract company. Albert said that she gives the School Board credit, they are staying on top of the ABM issue. "I know that they're not pleased and I believe that the ABM folks are going to be coming to a workshop very soon to have a question and answer session with the Board. It's really time that we make a decision to cut them loose or hold them accountable."