School districts have begun to hear from teachers who are requesting to retire early or refusing to return to the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic. Others are asking to teach only from home because they or one of their relatives have health problems.

That is raising questions about whether there will be enough certified teachers to teach during the 2020-2021 school year under the state’s new rules limiting the number of students in each classroom, said Steve Beatty, secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

“That is a real question of whether or not we will physically have enough educators that will return … That is a growing concern,” Beatty said.

The NJEA was among nearly a dozen state and national groups that released a report Thursday, titled “A National Call to Action,” calling on public health agencies to help states come up with more detailed plans to protect students and teachers as schools prepare to reopen.

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