Parents are becoming increasingly frustrated with teachers’ unions that continue to hold out on in-person instruction despite the vast majority of members having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 80 percent of K-12 teachers have gotten one or more vaccine injections after President Joe Biden issued a directive March 2 to move them, public school staff, and childcare workers to the front of the line.
Since then, about 8 million have been fully vaccinated or have begun their two-shot series.
“Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on Tuesday. “CDC will build on the success of this program and work with our partners to continue expanding our vaccination efforts, as we work to ensure confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.”
That’s great. Now get your asses back to work teaching kids. https://t.co/AlqnyFjF8m
— James Whomever (@JamesWhomever) April 7, 2021
But despite the widespread vaccination of teachers and school staff, unions are continuing to push back against in-person classroom instruction, which is increasingly frustrating to parents, some of whom have accused the unions of using the pandemic to push for raises.
In addition, the reluctance to return to school instruction has led to a number of lawsuits filed in districts around the country including Chicago and San Francisco.
An agreement reached with teachers in Oakland, Calif., to begin in-person instruction for high-needs students fell apart in late March after too few teachers agreed to return, even after being prioritized for vaccines and offered cash incentives. As such, homeless, special needs, and foster children were left out of classrooms, Fox News reported.
Now, teachers in Oakland are required to begin in-person classes on April 14, but some parents still believe unions are pushing an agenda.
Scott Davison, a southern California parent, said that he doesn’t believe most teachers are pushing back and thinks it is largely coming from union bosses.
“I do think it is important to distinguish the attitude of the majority – the vast majority of teachers do not share the opinion of their union,” said Davison, an attorney who has taken part in a legal effort via the Parent Association against the state and six school districts, in an interview with Fox News.
“I talk to plenty of teachers all the time, who eminently disagree with the take of their teacher’s union,” he continued. “I think it is important to distinguish that these are union leaders that have political talking points and political agendas that are trying to demand benefits for them, that really go against what their calling is – which is to help students.”
It’s not just Davison who believes the unions are the primary roadblock to a return to in-person learning. In March, reports claimed that union officials in Chicago instructed teachers not to let anyone know they had received a vaccine.
Eventually, Chicago teachers returned to the classrooms but many parents around the country still believe unions are using the pandemic to push for raises and new benefits.
“It boils down to these negotiations with teachers unions and the district,” Jonathon Zachreson, who lives near Sacramento, told Fox News, noting that California has received some $33 billion in COVID relief funding from Congress.
“This really has to do with poor leadership from Gavin Newsom. He effectively shut down schools at the behest of teachers’ unions during the summer,” he added.
“These teachers’ unions are wasting time negotiating more funds, using our kids as bargaining chips,” he said.
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