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Thomas Gallatin / Mar. 4, 2021

CA Teachers Union Cries ‘Racism’ Over Reopening Deal

UTLA president ridiculously claims the deal granting $6.6B to reopen schools by April 1 is promoting “structural racism.”

Opening the schools in California equates to “structural racism,” claims United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) President Cecily Myart-Cruz. The union boss made her ridiculous assertion following a deal orchestrated by Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom with state Democrat lawmakers to grant $6.6 billion in incentives to LA County schools to reopen by April 1. In short, California taxpayers will pay the schools an extra $6.6 billion to actually do school. April Fool’s Day, indeed.

Yet even with this undeserved cash windfall, the teachers union president has decided to dig in, rejecting reopening in favor of playing the race card. “If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier schools that don’t have the transmission rates that low-income black and brown communities do,” Myart-Cruz asserted, without citing any evidence to support such dubious claims. “This is a recipe for propagating structural racism, and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve.” Hogwash.

The data on COVID, after a year of dealing with the novel disease, demonstrably shows that the virus is not a significant threat to children, nor are they major spreaders. It is not children who are suffering and dying from COVID, nor in most cases is it their parents or teachers.

As former Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield notably stated last November, “The truth is, for kids K through 12, one of the safest places they can be from our perspective is to remain in school.” Of course, since Joe Biden entered the Oval Office, the CDC has hedged in an attempt to comply with the new administration’s political agenda.

Meanwhile, those “black and brown communities” that Myart-Cruz claims to be looking out for are the ones most hurt by the UTLA’s refusal to reopen schools. Minority communities have a higher rate of single-parent homes, especially within the black community, and a parent often can’t both work and stay home to educate their children. As the leftist Brooking Institute observes, “Black mothers … are facing the toughest challenge. For one thing, Black (and Hispanic) children are more likely to live in school districts with online-only reopening plans. Black mothers are less able to turn to one of the following contingency plans families are using to manage childcare.”

More affluent neighborhoods that have a higher population of whites in many cases are already sending their children to private schools that have reopened. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Wealthy, white parents send their children to private schools that mostly opened last fall. Or they pay for tutoring. Or they live in tony suburbs where schools are open.” Given that kids don’t do as well when not in school, who’s hurting?

The fact is the teachers unions are not primarily looking out for minorities or children; they’re looking to advance their own interests. Screaming “racism” is merely a deflection tactic to spin the focus away from the main issue. Why is it that the teachers unions don’t want their teachers teaching? Maybe if a teacher doesn’t want to teach, he or she shouldn’t be a teacher.

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