Perspectives: Teachers' Unions Raise Concerns About COVID-19 Safety In Schools

Headline Roundup January 15th, 2022

Teachers' unions across the country have expressed concerns about returning to in-person learning without proper COVID-19 safety protocols, despite how many health authorities and politicians are calling for a full return to in-person learning.

Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union recently resolved a week-long standoff with city officials after a new COVID-19 safety plan was approved. Classes had been canceled for four straight days amid concerns about surging COVID-19 cases and a lack of access to tests. Many teachers' unions are also saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been facing bipartisan criticism for "confusing" COVID-19 protocols, has not been "communicating well enough with educators."

Left-rated voices were more likely to criticize the effectiveness of COVID-related government regulations, with one writer arguing that the Chicago Teachers' Union always wanted to return to in-person learning but "the city’s lackluster pandemic safety" prevented that. Bloomberg's (Lean Left bias) editorial board believes Democrats need to "break the grip" of teachers' unions on the public school system." Right-rated voices have long criticized teachers' unions for using "political clout to stifle innovations that could improve U.S. education." One opinion piece from Fox News (Right bias) argued that funding students directly "would empower families to access educational alternatives" and that more data will soon reveal "the academic, social, and emotional costs" of virtual learning for young children.

From the Right
171
OPINION

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot deserves credit for standing up to the Chicago Teachers Union. But the fact that so many Chicago teachers were willing to abandon their students in the first place is disgraceful. The next time they walk off the job in violation of the law, she shouldn’t negotiate with them — she should fire them.

It is appalling that nearly three-quarters of Chicago Teachers Union members voted to walk out, locking more than 300,000 students out of their schools. As Lightfoot made clear, their actions were not only illegal, they were...

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From the Left
171
OPINION

Since early in the pandemic, both Republican- and Democratic-leaning pundits have portrayed virtual school as an educational disaster for students, an economic disaster for the country, and a political disaster for Democrats. They’ve also united in blaming teachers’ unions, rather than the pandemic and the government’s failed response to it, for school districts’ decisions to go virtual. This narrative waned as schools across the country returned to in-person instruction in 2021.

However, teachers union-bashing has returned with a vengeance in the past few weeks, as the omicron variant infects record numbers of students and staff members....

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From the Center
171

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not been communicating well enough with educators, teachers unions say, as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit records in the country.

The safety of American public schools, which educate over 50 million kids, has become a hotly contested issue, pitting teachers' unions worried about the disease's spread in sometimes underfunded, antiquated buildings against local and state officials who want to keep schools open.

The CDC, the United States' national public health agency, is not offering teachers enough information or seeking their input, despite a long history...

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