National teachers’ union president changes her tune, calls for schools to reopen

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, says her union is “all in” on fully reopening schools five days a week this fall.

“There is no doubt: Schools must be open. … Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open. … The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in.”

It is about time the teachers’ union stopped using children as pawns in their ploy for more power over education.

“Millions of parents have been pleading for their children to go back to school,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Aaron Withe. The Freedom Foundation has filed “lawsuits against teachers’ unions and schools on behalf of desperate families,” Withe continued.

In April, union reporter Mike Antonucci documented a treasure trove of evidence of teachers’ unions offering more resistance than cooperation to varied reopening plans, despite the science and data showing schools could bring children and staff back safely. “We won’t have five-day-a-week, in-person instruction for all K-12 students until the teachers’ unions say so,” Antonucci concluded last month.

“Finally, mounting pressure from across the country, combined with growing negative press, must have helped Randi change her mind,” Withe said. “It just would have been better if she’d come to the same conclusion in time to avoid wasting an entire year in the lives of the youngsters for whom she claims to care so deeply.”

But looking at how the national union’s local affiliates have responded to school reopening efforts over the past year, will the local unions be supportive of Weingarten’s plan? Or will teachers’ unions continue to put politics ahead of our children’s education?