Publisher's note: The author of this post is Mitch Kokai for the John Locke Foundation.
of the Washington Free Beacon highlights
union efforts nationwide to stifle the reopening of public schools.
- Teachers' unions across the United States are resisting a push from the Trump administration and House Republicans to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead opting for remote learning that experts say presents major risks to children.
- President Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut federal funding for schools that fail to reopen in the fall, echoing a recent bill proposed by Reps. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) and Tom Tiffany (R., Wisc.). Multiple states have followed suit-Florida announced Wednesday that it will require schools to hold in-person classes beginning in August, and Gov. Ralph Northam (D., Va.) in June unveiled a phased reopening plan for all public and private schools.
- Many powerful teachers' unions are pushing back against the drive to reopen. In Florida, Orange County Classroom Teachers Association president Wendy Doromal called the state's reopening order "totally irresponsible" during a Wednesday CNN appearance. In Virginia, three teachers' unions representing Fairfax County schools asked their members to choose an entirely remote learning option for the upcoming school year.
- The union resistance to reopening is at odds with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization in June released guidelines emphasizing the need for students to attend in-person classes this fall, citing the "considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality" associated with "lengthy time away from school." Many students coming from low-income families rely on the meals and support services they receive in school. In addition, according to the AAP, the lack of in-person classes leads to "social isolation" that drives "child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse, depression, and suicidal ideation."
- Banks said that while teachers he's spoken to acknowledge the necessity of in-person classes, their unions "have a different motivation."