Teachers’ unions oppose school choice and charter schools. That’s no secret. I wrote about it recently (School Choice – The Key to the American Dream, Biden Chooses Teachers Over Students). Teachers’ unions oppose school choice because it threatens their livelihood.
Until now, that’s about all we knew about teachers’ unions. But now they have come out of the closet. Now they have openly declared they’re all about pushing a progressive political agenda. No more will we have to wonder what their real agenda is all about. In the classic liberal mantra of “not letting a crisis go to waste”, the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) has taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to demand politicians give in to their agenda or they won’t allow the schools to reopen.
It was recently announced by two large California school districts, San Diego and Los Angeles, that schools would not reopen in the fall until conditions were considered safer for students amid the viral pandemic. The UTLA has listed their plan for providing a safe environment for students and teachers. Their demands include:
- Keeping student in “pod groups” to limit contact with other students
- Classrooms with no more than 12 students
- Staggered arrival, recess, lunch, and departure times
- PPE for all students and faculty
- Reduced furniture in classrooms
- Increased air circulation in classrooms and buildings
- Outdoor instruction whenever possible
- Increased emphasis on hygiene and hand washing
- 100% testing of symptomatic individuals
Many of these demands are certainly reasonable and may contribute to a safer school environment. But the UTLA has also listed their progressive demands that have little or nothing to do with school safety, but everything to do with their political agenda. Among those items are the following:
- Medicare for All– the socialist healthcare system pushed by progressives like Bernie Sanders and AOC
- Defund Police – shift current spending to education, housing & public health and away from law enforcement
- Federal Bailout– Although the CARES Act and HEROES Act provided additional federal funding of schools, the UTLA is demanding at least an additional $1 billion for funding California schools.
- Wealth Tax – a new tax on unrealized capital gains for California billionaires, 1% annually until capital gains taxes are met
- Millionaire Tax – a 1% surtax on incomes over a million a year, 3% over 3 million a year
- Homeless Security– declare housing a “human right” assisted by the state. Also, pass ordinances to prevent evictions and provide rent relief
- Paid Sick Leave – at least 10 days minimum required by every employer
- Charter Moratorium – defunding of all charter schools – in other words, eliminate School Choice
- Financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families – in other words, taxpayers support of illegal immigrants
This is an incomplete list of their demands, but sufficient for you to get the picture. They want every progressive wish they can dream of and are using this crisis period to leverage their agenda. They are pretending to be concerned about the safety and welfare of their teachers and students, but the list of demands goes far beyond that issue. If it was ever uncertain who they really represented, it is crystal clear now.
Joe Biden recently pledged his support of the National Educators Association (NEA), one of the largest teachers’ unions in the country. His wife, Jill, is an NEA member. He proudly announced, “When we win this election, we’re going to get the support you need and the respect you deserve. You don’t just have a partner in the White House, you’ll have an NEA member in the White House. And if I’m not listening, I’m going to be sleeping alone in the Lincoln Bedroom.” He said, “No privately funded charter school – or private charter school – would receive a penny of federal money.”
Biden opposes School Choice, that’s clear. But he pretends to oppose Medicare for All and Defunding Police. But he’s already retreating from his earlier stance opposing defunding police by agreeing some reallocation of funds to police departments is needed. What about a “human right” to a home, taxpayer support of illegal immigrants, and other progressive ideas? Who believes he’ll still oppose these progressive agenda items once he’s sitting in the White House?