News and Commentary

North Carolina Teachers’ Union Demands Benefits For Illegal Immigrants Before Returning To School

"We must fight together, collectively, for changes..."
School bus stop sign
Getty Images: Marilyn Nieves/Stock Photo

A teachers’ union in North Carolina is demanding sweeping benefits for illegal immigrants to lower COVID-19 cases and reopen schools.

In a recent statement denouncing the school district’s reopening plan, the Durham Association of Educators (DAE) called for universal healthcare, as well as guaranteed income regardless of a person’s immigration status.

After claiming “Trump, DeVos, and Berger want schools to open because they care about protecting wealth and big business,” the union’s statement continued, “There are concrete policies that have permitted other countries to flatten the curve and return to public life: moratoriums on rent and mortgage, universal health care, direct income support regardless of immigration status.”

“We must fight together, collectively, for changes that will permit our communities to thrive during this pandemic and beyond,” the statement added before linking to a petition.

Many teachers have balked at Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to reopen schools in mid-August, for which reason Durham Public Schools voted unanimously to postpone in-person instruction, instead holding virtual classes for at least the first nine weeks of the school year.

DAE is not the first to use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to implement far Left policy goals. Earlier this week, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) — a 35,000-member union in the Los Angeles Unified School District — stipulated that the district cannot reopen until charter schools are closed, the local police are defunded, the wealthy are taxed more, there is “Medicare-for-All,” and the district is bailed out by the federal government.

“It is time to take a stand against Trump’s dangerous, anti-science agenda that puts the lives of our members, our students, and our families at risk, UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “We all want to physically open schools and be back with our students, but lives hang in the balance. Safety has to be the priority. We need to get this right for our communities.”

In New Jersey, the state teachers’ union listed among their “acceptable standards for a return to in-person instruction” both weekly COVID-19 tests for all students and mandatory door-to-door mask-wearing. “Consequences for refusal to wear the required mask shall be clearly delineated in board policy and in the student/parent handbook, and shall include consequences up to and including suspension,” the union said.

President Donald Trump met with pushback from many teachers’ unions earlier this month when he threatened to yank federal funding from schools that do not reopen in the fall. On July 8, Trump tweeted, “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

The American Academy of Pediatrics stressed the importance of in-person schooling for children in a lengthy statement released last month. “[T]he AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” the statement read in part. “The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.”

The AAP released another statement on July 10 that clarified their previous one, saying in part:

Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics. We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.

RELATEDTeachers Union Teams With Black Lives Matter To Organize Students Against School Police

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