Education

Hysterical Left Ignores CDC, Demands Schools Stay Closed

Teachers unions make extortionist demands, which may drive more kids to alternative education.

Louis DeBroux · Jul. 29, 2020

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been excoriated by Democrats and teachers unions for demanding that schools reopen this fall. He stands accused of ignoring the science and putting America’s 57 million school children in mortal danger.

Yet now that the CDC has issued new guidelines for opening schools, the outcry from Democrats and teachers unions has only become more hysterical.

“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” CDC Director Robert Redfield argued. “School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”

Having previously stated that he would “absolutely” send his grandchildren back to school, Redfield’s statement is also in line with the 67,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, which last month issued a public statement “strongly advocat[ing]” for reopening schools.

The wisdom of the CDC and the AAP’s position is obvious to anyone who has bothered to look at the data on the coronavirus and children. According to the CDC, “As of July 17, children and adolescents account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths.” In other words, less than 1/1,000th of COVID deaths are children and adolescents.

Though scientists don’t know why yet, the data also show that even when infected with COVID, children rarely die from it. Children rarely transmit it to adults either, so teachers are at very low risk of infection from children.

Yet Democrats and teachers unions continue to be science deniers, fighting vigorously against a return to in-person schooling.

That doesn’t, of course, keep them from making ridiculous, extortionist demands, from an additional $116 billion in federal education funding (more than the U.S. spent to rebuild Europe after WWII), to reduced class sizes, reduced work hours, banning new private schools, to defunding the police, Medicare For All, and new taxes on the rich.

Clearly, Democrats and teachers unions have taken to heart former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s admonition to leftists to “never let a crisis go to waste.”

Leftists see a golden opportunity to hold the American economy hostage to their demands. After all, if schools don’t reopen, tens of millions of Americans can’t return to work, depending as they do on schools to watch their children during work hours.

Showing just how deeply political the Left has made this decision, NBC News published an op-ed by high-school teacher Anne Lutz Fernandez, who repeated the false claim that White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that “science should not stand in the way of” schools fully reopening. That lie was so blatant that CNN anchor Jake Tapper felt compelled to publicly rebuke his media colleagues for repeating it — before NBC did it again.

After melodramatically declaring “teachers did not enlist to die at work,” Fernandez says, “The federal government can make schools safer and help students learn, whatever form their learning must take, by researching the effects of COVID-19 on children, maintaining science-based guidelines, filling pandemic-related budget gaps and providing additional funding needed to meet safety guidelines.”

Except, as we mentioned, the research on COVID-19 and children is clear and overwhelming.

As for the alleged “budget gaps,” the Census Bureau reported last year that per-pupil spending in America had increased for the fifth consecutive year, with state and federal spending on education at $694.1 billion in 2017, up 3.7% from the year before. For perspective, the U.S. spends more on education (second highest in the world in per-pupil spending) than the entire GDP’s of Hong Kong and Ireland, though we get horribly mediocre academic results for all that spending.

Amazingly, Democrats and teachers unions don’t seem to grasp the damage they’re doing … to themselves. The longer they refuse to open schools, the more parents are forced to turn to private and religious schools or homeschooling. In fact, since the initial lockdowns, millions of parents have realized that homeschooling is a much better option.

How ironic would it be if leftist extortion tactics became the catalyst for parents to finally demand school choice en masse?

In the long run, this could be a tremendous benefit for the nation. Far too many of our “public” schools have become little more than government-run progressive indoctrination centers, churning out legions of academically incompetent social justice warriors who can’t read, can’t spell, and know no history, but who are marvelously self-assured that they know best how to run the economy and public policy.

Maybe, as the satirical Babylon Bee writes, “A concerning rise in test scores, independent thinking, and intelligence has been attributed to public schools being shut down across the nation.”

Imagine that — children learning reading, writing, arithmetic, and an accurate history of the United States, rather than the radically anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-religious pablum they are current force fed in public schools.

What a marvelous change that would be.

(Visit our comprehensive CV19 Pandemic response and recovery page to review our comprehensive timeline on government and political actions related to the pandemic, and see our related pages.

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