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Teachers' Unions Have Only Themselves to Blame

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

“We don’t need no educators” might be the unofficial new motto for Fairfax County, Va., schools after the union there said they won’t send teachers back to school full-time — even next fall.

Reason’s Robby Soave tweeted, “Fairfax’s teachers union boss allegedly said she wants to keep the hybrid model (2 days in school, 3 at home) even in the fall after teachers are vaccinated. That’s so absurd that I naively thought she was misquoted. So I reached out for comment and… that IS her position!”

If the union gets its way, Fairfax County families where both parents work outside the home or single-parent families will somehow have to manage having their kids home five days a week.

But the bad situation isn’t limited to just northern Virginia.

This next bit shows just how involved Chicago teachers are with actually educating:

“Concern remains that students will not be vaccinated before they return to school,” said Adams. “This requires that we maintain the hybrid model and continue social distancing, masking and all the other mitigation strategies.”

Of course, there’s no plan to vaccinate most students—because the vaccines aren’t even approved for kids younger than 16. What Adams is suggesting is essentially that schools should remain mostly virtual indefinitely.

This decision closely follows a vote by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to continue “teaching” remotely despite threats from City Hall that if they don’t work, they won’t get paid.

Soave also reported on Monday that “roughly 86 percent of its 25,000 members participated in the vote, and 71 percent of teachers wanted to keep teaching remotely.”

Well, why not? So long as neither parents nor government officials demand that teachers actually show up for work, the unions will continue making absurd demands like vaccinating children who don’t need it and couldn’t take it if they did.

Here in El Paso County, Colorado, my wife and I have been dealing with similar pandemic scheduling: Two days at school, two days of distance learning, and a “flex day” on Friday where the most the kids are required to do is check in electronically. But there are no distance-learning classes, leaving students without much to do — and an extra handful for parents to deal with.

This isn’t much of a problem for my wife and me in terms of scheduling because I always work from home and she’s been working remotely since the first lockdown. However, we’re not far from concluding that it’s been terrible for our high schooler’s education — and for his social life, too.

It’s been a rough year for everyone here, and that’s for a family that hasn’t suffered the way so many others have. But if the high schools don’t fully reopen in the fall here, we might move homeschooling out of the “You can do it if you want” category and into the “You’ll do it because we said so category.”

Polls show increasing support for homeschooling, and it’s no surprise after so many parents have been forced into these last ten months — and in many cases, found it rewarding for them and their kids.

If public school administrators wonder why kids won’t come back in the fall, they’ll have no one but themselves and their union friends to thank.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1818, “A system of general instruction, which shall reach every description of our citizens from the richest to the poorest, as it was the earliest, so will it be the latest, of all the public concerns in which I shall permit myself to take an interest.”

Like Jefferson, a supermajority of Americans believes in the idea of public education.

Would that public educators had such an interest in it, too.