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Teachers Unions Are Attempting Political Blackmail. Itís Time To Break Them Up
The Federalist ^ | August 5, 2020 | John Daniel Davidson

Posted on 08/05/2020 11:04:20 AM PDT by Kaslin

In an abject show of selfishness and political bias, teachers unions are trying to hold the country hostage over baseless COVID-19 fears.


It’s not enough that public school teachers and the college professors who train them are increasingly prone to teaching leftist absurdities like “2+2=5” or presenting the mendacious 1619 Project as legitimate American history. Teachers unions are now trying to blackmail the entire country into meeting a set of leftist political demands for reopening the schools this fall, using COVID-19 as their excuse.

Of course, the pandemic certainly presents challenges for re-opening schools, but other sectors of society have managed to rise to the occasion over the past several months to keep the country running. Grocery stores clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and of course police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses—all have kept working, sometimes under tough conditions and sometimes at great personal risk.

Then there are teachers unions. More than any other group during this pandemic, teachers unions have shown themselves to be abjectly selfish, hyper-political, and totally intransigent about teaching during the pandemic. They are willing to lie about the science behind COVID-19 transmission and shamelessly stoke fear to advance their partisan agenda. Just about the last thing these unions seem to care about is educating children or helping the country get back on its feet.

On Monday, an alliance of teachers unions and leftist groups in dozens of states staged a “National Day of Resistance,” issuing a series of demands that they say must be met before their members will return to the classroom. What do they want? Rents and mortgages canceled, a “massive infusion of federal money” from “taxing billionaires and Wall Street,” moratoriums on new charter schools and voucher programs and standardized tests, and of course “police-free schools,” among other things.

Some teachers unions have gone a step further. In New York City, one group is demanding teachers not be required to return to school until a minimum of 14 days have passed after any new COVID-19 cases, claiming their lives are at risk if schools open (despite evidence to the contrary in Europe and Asia). During protests Monday, hundreds of NYC teachers marched with handmade coffins and a guillotine, chanting wording to slogans like “children can’t learn if they’re dead.”

Elsewhere in the country, it’s more of the same. In Massachusetts, the state’s second-largest teachers union is demanding remote-only instruction. In Austin, Texas, the teachers union has issued a lengthy list of demands including no in-person instruction until mid-November at least, a guarantee of full pay with no layoffs or furloughs, and all employees having the right to refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe. Earlier this month, a large teachers union in Los Angeles demanded everything listed above as well as things the city’s school district has no power to do, like the passage of Medicare for All, a California wealth tax, a federal bailout of the school district, and defunding the local police.

Beyond these nakedly political demands, many unions want their teachers to get paid for not working. According to a report last week in The New York Times, some unions are trying to limit the amount of time teachers have to spend teaching online each day, all while getting paid in full.

Take Power From Teachers Unions and Give It to Parents

All this amounts to political blackmail. The teachers unions know that millions of parents can’t afford to stay home from work to educate their kids, nor can many afford private school or private tutors. They think they have leverage—and in many places they do, if only because city and state elected officials are unwilling to stand up to them.

What all this presents, for leaders willing to see it, is an opportunity to bust the teachers unions and give power to parents and families. Instead of acceding to the unions’ outrageous demands—many of which have nothing to do with the pandemic and everything to do with politics—elected officials, either at the state or local level, could issue vouchers to families and let them decide how best to educate their children this fall.

Specifically, they could create education savings accounts, which simply give parents a savings account dedicated to their kids’ education. The state deposits the child’s public education dollars into the account and parents can use it for various things like online classes, a private tutor, private school tuition, whatever. Especially during the pandemic, it’s a nimble way to help people fit their child’s education to specific local circumstances.

This idea isn’t new but it does have new urgency given the extortion scheme teacher unions are running. It’s especially important that parents of underprivileged and special-needs students—who have fared the most poorly with remote learning—be given a chance to find in-person instruction for their kids.

Those who claim to care about such students should be forced to choose a side. Do lawmakers care more about appeasing teachers unions or ensuring our kids get an education? We’re about to find out.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: covid19; education; pandemic; publicschools; reopen; schoolchoice; teachersunions; unions

1 posted on 08/05/2020 11:04:20 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I can’t believe they expect to get paid while sitting at home.


2 posted on 08/05/2020 11:08:09 AM PDT by Sam Gamgee
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To: Kaslin

If Teachers Won’t Teach, Follow Ronald Reagan’s Example and Fire Them
Townhall.com ^ | August 5, 2020 | Bob Barr
Posted on 8/5/2020, 10:17:41 AM by Kaslin

When 13,000 air traffic controllers walked off the job in August 1981, President Ronald Reagan had this to say: “Tell them when the strike’s over, they don’t have any jobs.” The media, not yet fully familiar with the seriousness with which Reagan intended to govern, scoffed at the president’s threat. But it was not a bluff. Two days later, when more than 11,000 controllers refused to come back, Reagan fired them all. It was a powerful move, and demonstrated to the entire country that essential public employees serve the public, not union bosses. America’s public school teachers should be reminded of this fact.

With thousands of teachers across the country currently protesting a return to the classroom because of COVID fears, Reagan’s example is particularly relevant. Like air traffic controllers, teachers sign employment contracts. While air traffic controllers contract with the federal government and teachers with local school districts, the principle is the same: perform the duties for which you were hired, or be fired.

Teachers who refuse to teach in the setting for which they were hired – the classroom – need to stop acting like scared bunnies and grow up. If they truly are “essential” workers, as they remind us repeatedly, then they need to start behaving like other essential employees and get back to work.

Many businesses, unfortunately, have been forced by the government to shut down wholly or in part in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, and this is having a devastating effect on our national economy. Amidst this devastation, public schools in virtually every jurisdiction across the country ended the school year early after COVID hit our shores in March.

Unlike commercial businesses, however, the prolonged closure of schools has ramifications far beyond the economic. Moreover, educating children is a process that cannot be switched on and off like a production line; the damage to young minds that are allowed to lie fallow month after month, or which are presented with “virtual” learning in place of human-to-human interface, creates learning voids not easily replenished.

“Teaching” means, if anything, working with students as well as encouraging students to work with other students in a social setting for the purpose of learning essential skills and acquiring essential knowledge. “Virtual” teaching is not teaching at all; it is cinematography – nothing more than an adult (the “teacher”) speaking to a camera, with an audience of one (the “student”) at the end of the electronic transmission watching a screen. Raw information may be thus transmitted, but not true knowledge.

What many public school teachers and their union bosses at the National Education Association appear to be setting as the price for them to return to the classroom, is a guarantee that the environment will be 100% percent COVID-free at all times. Such a condition is, of course, impossible to meet and essentially allows the teachers to avoid a return to their job site for the foreseeable future.

Moreover, demanding a zero-risk premise for classroom teaching sends the message to students (and everyone else for that matter) that risk-avoidance is the highest and most desirable goal for society. This further erodes the principle on which America’s greatness heretofore has been premised – that society advances not by avoiding challenges, but by meeting and overcoming them.

There might perhaps be somewhat more compassion for the our-way-or-the-highway posture being taken by these public school teachers had they and their union not spent decades working to ensure that public education remained the only practical option for millions of families across America. Unionized teachers continue to vilify homeschooling and oppose providing taxpaying parents any meaningful ability to choose where to send their children to be educated.

No teacher should be forced to go into the classroom against their will. However, if local government leaders properly equip them with personal protective equipment and mandate reasonable protocols within the schools to minimize the risk of COVID, and if teachers and their unions then still refuse to teach in school, it is time to “pull a Reagan” and fire them. The money saved from thinning educational bloat of protesting teachers and useless district administrators with nothing to do, can be returned to parents who are struggling to pay for alternatives to ensure their children actually have a productive school year.

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3871719/posts

https://townhall.com/columnists/bobbarr/2020/08/05/if-teachers-wont-teach-follow-ronald-reagan’s-example-and-fire-them-n2573744


3 posted on 08/05/2020 11:08:15 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Does anyone know of any Democrat, who does the right thing for America/Americans today?)
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To: Kaslin

Those with their eyes open should see many things clearly now.

I’m hoping that the Democrats lose big in November and President Trump goes scorched earth in the next couple of years. Get rid of all government unions. Complete re-think on Education. Big reform in Media. Don’t hold back. Make the world new. Give power to individuals and families. Cripple the Globalists.


4 posted on 08/05/2020 11:09:16 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (If White Privilege is real, why did Elizabeth Warren lie about being an Indian?)
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To: Kaslin

Education Savings Accounts would be a great start. A more preferable step would be to take the opportunity to close the Public Schools altogether.

Local school districts should be spun off as commercial entities. Then, they could vie for the funding inside those Education Savings Acounts.


5 posted on 08/05/2020 11:11:11 AM PDT by beancounter13
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To: Kaslin

If you only used Khanacademy.org to teach your kids, they would probably have a leg up, acedemically, against most public school trained kids in the nation.

The silver lining of this ridiculous lockdown may be the demise of public schools. Their time came and went. Kinda like Ellis Island.


6 posted on 08/05/2020 11:14:06 AM PDT by cuban leaf (The political war playing out in every country now: Globalists vs Nationalists)
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To: Sam Gamgee
I can’t believe they expect to get paid while sitting at home.

AND they want reimbursement for their new $5,000 apple laptops.

7 posted on 08/05/2020 11:16:01 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (#openupstateny)
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To: Kaslin

losers.

their “graduates” print rarely,
cannot compose a complete organized paragraph,
and the best think mathematics involves
the ability to get correct change in the supermarket.


8 posted on 08/05/2020 11:16:42 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("when a crime is unpunished, the world is unbalanced")
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To: Kaslin

>>On Monday, an alliance of teachers unions and leftist groups in dozens of states staged a “National Day of Resistance,” <<

Which nobody noticed.

Up there with “not one damn dime day” and “only black business day” in the pantheon of leftist successful actions.


9 posted on 08/05/2020 11:29:34 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ("Do not mistake activity for achievement." - John Wooden)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Reagan fired them all

Sadly, the teachers unions are not totally subject to the Federal law. Doubt if POTUS can fire them but he can shut off money.

10 posted on 08/05/2020 11:47:01 AM PDT by Don Corleone (The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth)
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To: Kaslin

The silver lining is they ALWAYS overstep.........and then comes the BACKLASH!


11 posted on 08/05/2020 11:51:34 AM PDT by JPG (MAGA 2020!)
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To: Kaslin

"It's now time to break them up"

Yeah, right. There are only 5 states that don't have them. Good luck "breaking" them up.

12 posted on 08/05/2020 12:19:07 PM PDT by scottiemom (As a retired Texas public4 school teacher, I highly recommend private school.)
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To: Sam Gamgee
First warning: This is your report to work date.
Second Warning: loss of tenure.
Third 'warning': bye-bye.

More than 15% of the teachers fail to report, the local union gets de-certified.

13 posted on 08/05/2020 12:27:01 PM PDT by Tallguy (Facts be d@mned! The narrative must be protected at all costs!)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t really care if they’re paid for not working, as long as those monsters don’t have direct contact with children, I’m good (regardless of how much they smile at parents).


14 posted on 08/05/2020 12:37:32 PM PDT by BobL (I shop at Walmart and eat at McDonald's, I just don't tell anyone, like most here)
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To: Sam Gamgee

I thought after Floyd went down people would realize police unions no good and apply the same logic to teachers. I was wrong again.


15 posted on 08/05/2020 1:22:30 PM PDT by genghis
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To: Grampa Dave

At least on the high school level, while they are on line, Just pick a few of the best teacher in each subject do an online classes and lay the rest off until school opens up.


16 posted on 08/05/2020 1:26:33 PM PDT by lizma2
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To: lizma2

“At least on the high school level, while they are on line, Just pick a few of the best teachers in each subject do an online classes and lay the rest off until school opens up.”

Sounds like a plan.


17 posted on 08/05/2020 3:05:25 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Does anyone know of any Democrat, who does the right thing for America/Americans today?)
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To: Grampa Dave

One of my all time favorite quotes was when Reagan was asked by a reporter “Why did you fire all the air traffic controllers?” and he responded “It’s against the law for them to strike. Looks like they quit to me”. LOLOL


18 posted on 08/05/2020 6:49:49 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (Three most annoying words on the internet - "Watch the video")
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To: Hardastarboard
One of my all time favorite quotes was when Reagan was asked by a reporter, “Why did you fire all the air traffic controllers?” and he responded “It’s against the law for them to strike. Looks like they quit to me”. LOLOL
19 posted on 08/06/2020 8:13:39 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Does anyone know of any Democrat, who does the right thing for America/Americans today?)
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