The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the corruption in the public education system to people who were previously unaware of it. Teachers unions have long been behind the corruption in the public school system, and now their selfishness has been brought to light.
The unions’ support for school closures has severe ramifications on the mental health of students nationwide. The loneliness and isolation that children are feeling now will eventually manifest into depression and anxiety. Lockdowns have had a demonstrably worse effect on children than the coronavirus itself. Suicide and depression have rapidly increased among children which has prompted the nation’s fifth-largest school district to reopen for in-person learning.
There is simply no scientific basis for keeping schools closed. To claim otherwise is to ignore data from the American Academy of Pediatrics which found that children represented 0% to 0.2% of all fatal COVID-19 cases. In addition, 18 states reported zero child deaths. Recently, Dr. Fauci admitted that children do not catch or spread the virus in large numbers. This is a late admission as studies have previously shown that children do not play a major role in spreading COVID-19. This revelation has led public health officials in Switzerland to determine that it is now safe for children under the age of ten to hug their grandparents.
The teachers unions are not actually motivated by the science, however. Many of the unions’ demands have nothing to do with promoting school safety. The United Teachers of Los Angeles, for example, demanded “Medicare for All,” a moratorium on charter schools, the defunding of police, and a wealth tax on California billionaires. The American Federation for Teachers is demanding “culturally responsive practices,” additional food programs, and guidance counselors.
This comes as no surprise, given that teachers unions have a history of left-wing activism despite the political diversity of teachers themselves. According to a survey by the Education Week Research Center, 41% of teachers are self-described Democrats, 30% are Independents, and 27% said they were Republicans.
The unions are completely out of touch with the nation’s teachers. In the past 28 years they have given 96% of their funding to Democratic candidates. The National Education Association’s most recent agenda is practically a progressive wishlist. It includes commitments to supporting Black Lives Matter, prohibiting private jails, and opposing the arming of teachers. Additionally, they seek to deconstruct the “systemic proliferation of a White supremacy culture.”
The activism of teachers unions is typically focused on combating “systemic racism,” and promoting “Black Lives Matter.” In a sad twist of irony, the teachers unions are most focused on blocking reforms that would actually help students of color. The unions rely heavily on empty left-wing slogans and buzzwords to mask what they are truly after—power. This is demonstrated by their visceral opposition to school choice. Senator Ted Cruz notes in his book One Vote Away that, “In a just world, teachers unions would enthusiastically support school choice… But the union bosses who lead the teachers unions have decided that school choice is an existential threat to their power, and so they demand partisan fealty above all.” This thirst for power comes at the expense of predominantly minority children.
Eight empirical studies analyzed how school choice affects racial segregation in schools. Seven of these studies found that school choice moves students into less segregated schools. Due to the fact that a student’s zip code determines which public school they will attend, many black and Hispanic students are trapped in failing schools. According to The Blaze, “Latino students are 68% more likely than white students to be taught by the worst teachers, and black students are 43% more likely.” School choice would alleviate these disparities. Private and charter schools consistently produce better results than public schools despite utilizing less funding.
There is also significant minority support for school choice. A Civitas Poll found that minority support is higher than white support for numerous programs. Another poll found that 67.6% of black respondents and 63.4% of Hispanic respondents supported the concept of school choice. Instead of listening to minority families, the teachers unions advocate for big government policies that only benefit the union bosses. Once again they continue to block educational reform and exacerbate the bureaucracy-ridden public education system. It is time to abolish these drunk-on-power, regressive entities.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.