The American Federation of Teachers Calls for The Reopening of Schools
Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, has called for all schools in the US to reopen for in-person learning. Weingarten believes that ‘conditions have changed’ and that it is time to fully reopen schools.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is one of the country’s largest teacher’s unions. They have called on schools to reopen five days a week following the continued use of virtual learning over school districts. “Conditions have changed,” says Weingarten. The union is blaming the previous administration for creating an environment of fear from the beginning of the pandemic that reduced the efforts to reopen schools. “We can and we must reopen schools in the fall for in-person teaching, learning and support. And keep them open. Fully and safely, five days a week.” Currently, less than only 30% of elementary and middle school students are in school full time and in person.
The Union also believes that the growing number of Americans being fully vaccinated will assist the full reopening of schools. Moreover, almost 90% of AFT members are fully vaccinated and believe that reopening for in-person learning is safer than ever. “Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open,” Weingarten says. “The game changer has been vaccines.”
South Carolina Republican, Senator Tim Scott, added to the debate of the reopening of schools during his rebuttal of President Biden’s first address the Congress last month. “I’m saddened that millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a single day,” he said. “Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future. Our public schools should have reopened months ago. Other countries’ did. Private and religious schools did.”
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