‘Extremist Scheme’: Teachers Union Boss Blasts Education Reforms, Homeschooling

Denies public schools are teaching Critical Race Theory, teachers are grooming and indoctrinating students, public schools push a woke agenda.
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Teachers union boss Randi Weingarten ripped into Americans critical of public education, accusing them of advancing an “extremist scheme” to replace government-run schools with private, religious, online, and homeschools.

Speaking to the National Press Club this week, Weingarten — whose American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the second largest teachers’ labor union in the nation — targeted the DeVos, Bradley, Koch, Uihlein, and Walton family foundations for their criticism of public schools.

“The Betsy DeVos wing of the school privatization movement is methodically working its plan: Starve public schools of the funds they need to succeed,” Weingarten said. “Criticize them for their shortcomings. Erode trust in public schools by stoking fear and division, including attempting to pit parents against teachers. Replace them with private, religious, online, and home schools.”

Weingarten suggested that such efforts were supported by few people, declaring, “It’s an extremist scheme by a very vocal minority of Americans.”

Weingarten — whose AFT reportedly lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools closed amid the coronavirus pandemic — attacked state legislatures considering bills to either create or expand existing voucher programs.

“Vouchers negatively affect achievement — the declines are worse than pandemic learning loss,” she claimed.

She attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his universal voucher program, which will allow eligible students to enroll in K-12 to participate in available school choice options, saying, “DeSantis is sending taxpayers’ dollars in the wrong direction.”

Weingarten denied claims that elementary and secondary schools are teaching Critical Race Theory, railed against claims that teachers are indoctrinating students, and denied that public schools push a woke agenda.


“This is literally a matter of life and death,” Weingarten said. “These attacks on public education make it increasingly difficult to create the welcoming, safe environment that our students need and deserve.”

The “crisis will only get worse as Gov. DeSantis’ universal voucher bill kicks in. What will the loss of $4 billion do to safety in Florida’s public schools?” Weingarten said.

Weingarten has made DeSantis the focus of her ire before. In July 2021, she tweeted that “Millions of Floridians are going to die for Ron DeSantis’ ignorance and he’s choosing to profit from it,” after DeSantis’ campaign team offered T-shirts saying, “Don’t Fauci My Florida.”

Two months later, apparently fearing that DeSantis’ policies would encourage parents to pluck their children out of public schools,  she tweeted, “This isn’t just about masks or about Governor DeSantis’ political aspirations. It’s about the complete destabilization of public education so that parents will choose private schools.”

Last August, Weingarten targeted DeSantis and Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott, charging, “The teacher shortage was bad before this year but it’s been made worse by the culture wars: the mask wars, the fabrication of CRT, the shenanigans of politicians like Gov Abbott in TX & Gov DeSantis in FL.”

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