By Ian Bush
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey’s teachers’ union has canceled its annual convention because of the hurricane, giving school districts the chance to make up some time lost to Sandy.
“Our decision was a difficult one, but we know it was the correct one,” says Steve Wollmer, communications director for the New Jersey Education Association. He says it’s the first time in 158 years that the teachers won’t meet.
Because of the hurricane, some districts have been using up all their “snow” days before one flake has fallen.
“People’s lives have been turned upside down, and they’re going to have to sit down and decide how to manufacture a school year that fits the requirement,” says Steve Wollmer, with the New Jersey Education Association.
He says that two days reserved by law for the Atlantic City convention now can be used by districts to make up some of that lost classroom time.
“We’ve had this convention for 158 years and this is the first time we’ve canceled, but obviously Hurricane Sandy was an unprecedented event,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
“Most districts were closed all this week — if not all of it, then most of it. And now they’re going to have to sit down at the local level and decide how to allocate days in the future,” he says.
He says the union has been talking with the Red Cross and with officials at the shore to see how members can help rebuild hard-hit areas.