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The United Teachers of Los Angeles, California’s largest teachers union, raised eyebrows last summer when it released a report detailing its demanded conditions for a safe reopening of schools. This document went far beyond requesting social distancing plans and personal protective equipment to an agenda that included passing Medicare for All at the federal level, raising state taxes, defunding the police, and imposing a moratorium on charter schools.
Article by Kerry McDonald from FEE.
Now, in addition to pushing for vaccine access for educators and low community case rates as reopening requirements, the Los Angeles teachers union is requesting that teachers with young children be provided taxpayer-subsidized child care or else continue to be allowed to work from home. On Tuesday, this request was granted, allowing for $500 monthly stipends to teachers and other employees as they return to the classroom. It’s a model that more teachers unions across the country are expected to push.
Closed for in-person learning since last spring, Los Angeles Public Schools are set to reopen on April 12th for half-day sessions for preschoolers and elementary students, followed by middle school and high school students at the end of the month. Frustration over teacher unions blocking school reopenings has escalated in recent weeks, with school districts in some areas filing lawsuits against the unions and governors declaring spring school reopening dates despite union resistance.
This latest move by the Los Angeles teachers union has sparked backlash from parents and others who resent that teachers are asking for taxpayer-funded child care to return to work while many frontline workers have been dutifully doing their jobs in person for over a year, despite exposure to the coronavirus.
“Unions asking for child care accommodations have found themselves playing defense,” reports Politico, “as critics are quick to point out that essential workers like healthcare and grocery store employees who never stopped working in-person are also parents of children who were shut out of schools longer than families in most other states, without the guarantee of child care.”
These recent union demands come on the heels of the new COVID-19 relief bill, passed by Congress last month, that allocates $123 billion to K-12 public schools on top of the $67 billion they received in previous COVID spending bills. With only about 40 percent of US school districts currently open for full-time, in-person learning, an injection of federal funding may seem like it could accelerate school reopenings. Yet, researchers have found that neither lack of funding nor COVID-19 community spread is correlated with schools remaining closed. Instead, teacher union influence is the main indicator of whether or not a school district reopens for in-person learning.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal last month about their new findings, Corey DeAngelis and Christos Makridis state that “public school funding is either uncorrelated or even negatively correlated with in-person instruction. Some models suggest that schools that went fully remote were better off financially than their in-person counterparts in the same state.” The pair also explains that “union influence, rather than scientific concerns about the spread of the virus, is the primary driver behind reopening decisions.”
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Moreover, researchers at Georgetown University discovered that many remote-only school districts were financially flush, including Los Angeles that reported a more than $500 million funding surplus this academic year.
Money clearly isn’t the problem, and yet even with tens of billions of dollars in new federal spending directed at public schools, questions remain regarding when districts will fully reopen for in-person learning and what fall schooling will look like.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that many school districts are not expecting schools to reopen normally this fall, with remote learning still widespread and masking and social distancing requirements remaining in place. Some districts are considering staggered school and bus schedules, and the cafeteria and certain extracurricular activities may continue to be off-limits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reduced their school social distancing recommendations from six feet to three feet, a change the Post indicates “could set the stage for more disputes this summer and fall between school districts and teachers unions over whether to reopen full time — with students closer together — or part-time, which allows for more distancing.”
The latest demand by the Los Angeles teachers union to supply teachers with taxpayer-funded child care subsidies is part of an ongoing effort by teachers unions to influence public policy, often through hefty donations to the Democratic Party that supports expanding taxpayer-funded universal pre-K and subsidized child care, and secure their monopoly power over public schools. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman once said about teachers unions: “They have an enormously strong personal private interest to keep the situation the way it is now where they exercise an effective monopoly position on the public school system—which isn’t public at all. It’s a government school system owned by the teachers union and that’s what the reality is.”
More parents are discovering the outsized influence of teachers unions over their children’s schools. Frustrated by delayed openings and unsatisfactory remote and hybrid learning plans, millions of parents have exited the public school system for private schools and homeschooling this academic year. Support is growing for school choice policies that allow education dollars to follow students instead of schools, and more than two dozen states now have active school choice legislation under consideration. Education entrepreneurs continue to build new learning models that expand education options for families.
As more parents take the reins of their children’s education and seek alternatives to their assigned district school, teachers unions’ “monopoly position on the public school system” may be permanently weakened.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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