News and Commentary

Many School Districts Refusing To Commit To In-Person Reopening In The Fall As Teachers Unions Continue To Move Goalposts
Small children with face mask back to school after coronavirus quarantine, learning.
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Even as the coronavirus pandemic wanes and vaccines become readily available, school districts across the country continue to refuse to commit to fully reopening in the fall.

The Washington Post reported on the disparate approaches schools are taking when it comes to school in the fall.

“School districts across the country are planning to return to full-time, in-person classes this fall. But some also are planning for hybrid systems that combine in-person and remote learning as a fallback. All teachers and staff who want vaccinations will have them, but children will not. Masks and other virus mitigation measures will remain in place in much of the country,” the outlet reported. “Some administrators anticipate lunch in the cafeteria again, but others say students probably will have to eat in their classrooms. Some say sports and choir can return. Others aren’t sure.”

District leaders who spoke to the Post said they were planning for a full return to school, with hybrid systems as a backup in case the virus doesn’t improve. Teachers unions also continue to complicate reopening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that social distancing only requires three feet of space instead of six feet, making it much easier for schools to reopen, yet teachers unions still insist their lives are in danger. As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti previously reported, data from more than 200,000 students showed a minuscule infection rate for the coronavirus. In November, the previously administration’s CDC director said schools were among the “safest places” kids can be and that closing schools was an “emotional response” unsupported by data.

“The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close, and I’m here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K-12 schools—as well as institutes of higher learning—really are not where we’re having our challenges,” former CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said.

Despite this information, teachers unions continue to move the goalposts on what it would take for them to agree to reopen schools. Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, told the Post she still wants to see more research on the issue of reopening.

“I’ve seen inequalities all my life, and the last thing we can afford to do at the end of a pandemic that has already disproportionately impacted our Black and Brown and Indigenous communities, the last thing we need to do is to say we did not take the time to do studies in their environments, in their schools,” Pringle told the outlet. “We still have lots of questions.

District leaders across the country are now trying to overstep teachers unions, who continue to refuse to return to the classroom even when their demands are met. In Massachusetts, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley was given the authority to overrule teachers unions. San Francisco is suing its own school district after it refused to even provide a plan to return kids to school.

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