The Chicago Teachers Union continues to refuse in-person learning even though evidence suggests schools are not a coronavirus concern.
“Our youngest and most medically vulnerable students deserve safety, yet that is exactly what CPS refuses to take steps to document or guarantee,” CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
On Wednesday, however, a study of more than 200,000 K-12 students in 47 states revealed an incredibly low rate of coronavirus infection, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti previously reported:
The infection rate among staff — a concern cited by teacher’s unions and even parents worried about the effects of a return to a typical format for K-12 education — is also shockingly low, the WSJ notes. A study of staff working in open schools showed a case rate of just .24%.
“A group of researchers, spearheaded by Brown University Professor Emily Oster, have created and made available the most comprehensive database on schools and Covid case rates for students and staff since the pandemic started,” the [WSJ] noted in an opinion piece. “Her data—covering almost 200,000 kids across 47 states from the last two weeks of September—showed a Covid-19 case rate of 0.13% among students and 0.24% among staff. That’s a shockingly and wonderfully low number. By comparison, the current overall U.S. case rate is 2.6%, an order of magnitude higher.”
Despite such evidence, as well as evidence showing children are by far the least vulnerable group when it comes to the coronavirus, the Chicago Teachers Union refuses to even discuss a return to in-person learning, a spokeswoman for Chicago Public Schools said.
“We are disheartened that CTU continues to obstruct and mislead the public about the necessary planning measures needed to prepare for a potential return to safe in-person learning,” said Emily Bolton, spokesman for the CPS district.
“While the district is doing everything in its power to plan for all possible scenarios, the CTU refuses to even discuss a return to in-person learning, even as hundreds of private schools in Chicago are open,” Bolton added. “We don’t know what the health situation will be in a couple of weeks’ time, but it would be irresponsible not to plan ahead while thousands of students miss out on valuable learning.”
CTU has filed an unfair labor practice charge against CPS, claiming the school district is “illegally refusing to bargain over reopening and safety protocols,” the Tribune reported.
“The latest labor filing demands CTU be allowed to have its own certified industrial hygienists inspect school air quality, and asks the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board to prevent CPS from resuming in-person instruction ‘until the district has bargained in good faith,’” the outlet added.
CTU also filed another unfair labor charge, claiming CPS threatened to not pay employees or possibly discipline them for working from home, even though an arbitration ruling determined they should be able to.