Teachers unions are wrong, Mayor Eric Adams is right: School buildings are the safest places for children to be — to learn and to socialize in.
“We’ve lost almost two years of education . . . we can’t do it again,” the mayor said so rightly Sunday. As Adams told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “The numbers of transmissions are low, your children [are] in a safe space to learn and continue to thrive.”
To be fair, United Federation of Teachers chief Mike Mulgrew isn’t going to be the mat to inflict another round of school closures on the city. He even told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “The numbers of transmissions are low, your children [are] in a safe space to learn and continue to thrive.”
But he did call for the Department of Education to pivot to remote-learning because of the Omicron surge. Worse, he wrote his members over the weekend suggesting they push for remote learning this week amid the surge in new cases.
Then again, the union’s UFT Solidarity faction has gone to court in a bid to shutter all schools pending “adequate” COVID testing.
But the mayor is standing firm: City public schools are open for in-person learning and other activities. Under a new DOE policy, students or staff students exposed to COVID-19 will stay in school as long as they test negative and have no symptoms. Those exposed to someone who tested positive will be given two at-home tests and must test negative twice in five days to remain in school.
Adams is relying on medical science when he says, “The numbers show the mere fact that a child is exposed in a classroom does not mean that entire classroom is exposed.”
As of Monday afternoon, only PS 58 in Brooklyn was closed — without DOE authorization — after what may be an illegal sickout by some teachers.
Meanwhile, unions have forced closures in some New Jersey districts while staff shortages have forced six out of 124 Long Island districts to go virtual.
The union offensive here puts the lie to the recent efforts of American Federation of Teachers prez Randi Weingarten to pretend her movement wasn’t a huge force in keeping schools across America closed for so much of the last two years — with, sadly, the connivance of the Biden White House.
Mayor Adams isn’t just doing right by the city’s children; he’s showing that some Democrats care more about the public than the special interests.
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