President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain threw his support behind teachers unions in their stance against reopening schools to return to in-person learning, arguing that investments in facilities for the safety of students and workers are still lacking.
Teachers’ unions refuse to resume in-person learning, claiming that face-to-face would put teachers in permanent danger.
The most prominent case in recent days is that of the Chicago teachers’ union, which after 10 months of keeping schools closed, last Monday was scheduled to return to classes, but teachers refused to show up arguing that the pandemic situation creates “unsafe” work environments.
When Klain was asked why the teachers’ unions would not allow public schools to reopen, his response was that it was a funding issue.
“That’s why the president of the United States sent a plan to Congress even before he took office to make the investments necessary to make schools safe,” Klain said during an appearance on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” referring to Biden’s $1.9 billion.
The bill Klain refers to is drawing strong criticism, including from Democratic senators, who believe that the stimulus plan aimed at addressing the pandemic, far from targeting investment in public education as Klain suggests, would be diverting money “to high-income Americans.”
A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), set up a conference call on Monday that also included Jeff Zients, CCP policy coordinator for the virus, in which they raised strong opposition to Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, precisely because of how those funds are distributed, the conservative Daily Wire reported.
But evidently Democrats still can’t agree among them, because despite internal criticism of the plan, Klain’s response was, “We need Congress to pass that plan so we can do the kinds of things that need to be done to make schools safe, so students can be safe, so teachers can be safe. Unfortunately, it costs money.”
In doing so, he again justified the teachers’ unions, which in most parts of the country have students without their fundamental right to attend school to, in addition to learning, have contact and interact with their peers.
In December, the Chicago union offered the argument for not attending school, when it stated on its Twitter account, “The push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,” so much criticism was received that they had to delete the message and make a public apology in another one.
In response to the union’s tweet, journalist Curtis Houck wrote, “Then why are minority parents suing in California saying virtual learning has left their children behind? You say you care about your students, but you clearly don’t,” and attached a story from the Washington Post giving credence to his accusation.
Then why are minority parents suing in California saying virtual learning has left their children behind?
You say you care about your students, but you clearly don't. https://t.co/tND2mIvKeD
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 6, 2020
A study released Tuesday showed negligible outbreaks of the CCP Virus related to the classroom environment in rural Wisconsin schools that reopened.