Education reform superstar Corey DeAngelis has reported that the Chicago CPS teachers’ union is asking its membership to demand a return to remote learning or even a possible work stoppage for “safety” in 2022.
At this point in the COVID situation, it is disturbing, to say the least, that prolonged educational shutdowns are still being considered. None of the scientific data supports new lockdowns and further irreparable damage to vulnerable schoolchildren.
Medical evidence shows that the Omicron variant is not dangerous to children in any statistically meaningful way. Every teacher has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and omicron is likewise only a mild threat to working-age adults.
It appears evident at this stage that primary teachers’ unions are only interested in freedom from working for a living like the private sector and the large majority of public school districts must do. Almost all industries have seen workers back on the job for more than a year, and genuinely essential workers never stopped working at all. But teachers who have been on multiple months of paid vacation are shamelessly willing to take another bite out of the public treasury while the biting is good.
Blue cities like Chicago have poured money and influence into public employee unions for decades to maintain their political power. Now, when hardcore progressives like Mayor Lori Lightfoot try to oppose continuing school employee work stoppages, they will find it too late to pull the reins back on the groups they have made entitled and who have no concern for children or the public they are paid to serve.
Moves like this month’s effort by the CPS to go back on a paid vacation will not stop until voters put an end to them. Elected leaders like Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can stand up to the public unions, but only if voters support them first. Unfortunately for taxpayers stuck in Chicago, it looks unlikely that a political solution is anywhere near on the horizon.