(TheRedAlertNews.com) – As COVID-19 infections surge, many teachers’ unions across the country have been pushing to return to remote learning temporarily, a stance that has revived animosity between educators, politicians, and parents.
According to a local online publication, Block Club Chicago, teachers may not show up to work because of surging cases. The news organization reported that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) executive board would be meeting Monday intending to vote on the issue on Tuesday, which could result in a walk-out on Wednesday.
In statements to WBEZ, the CTU also revealed that if mitigations were not implemented by Monday, the union predicted chaos, given that the CPS had the necessary funds to “keep people safe.”
However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended in-person learning, saying that the city could not ignore “the sad lessons of a whole district resorting to remote learning.”
In Massachusetts, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) contended that when teachers returned to the classrooms, they would not be returning to safe environments. In a statement, Beth Kontos, AFT Massachusetts President, commended the state for providing tests for teachers and staff. However, she said that this move should be “followed by a period of remote learning until the current wave of infections abates.”
She continued by saying that it wasn’t a time to point fingers. Instead, it was time for Governor Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley to accept that the state was experiencing a “runaway public health crisis that is beyond our control.” Kontos went on to say “that returning students to school on Monday will inevitably make the crisis much worse.”
But the Governor did not agree with these sentiments. Speaking during a visit to Saltonstall School in Salem on Monday, Baker endorsed in-person learning, saying that the approach was crucial to students’ learning and mental health.
Connecticut was another state that would not be caving in to pressure to return to remote learning. Although there has been an interest in temporary remote learning, the state would continue with in-person learning.
West Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Tom Moore told the community that “loss of in-person learning is just too great a cost,” adding that the state did not consider remote learning an alternative to in-school days. Instead, he emphasized that any remote days in the district “would need to be made up.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams had also rejected remote learning, as it was reported by PIX 11 that a city Department of Education spokesperson pointed to data that shows “that the safest place for children is inside a school.”