As unionized public school teachers across the country complain that parents are asking them to risk their lives to teach their children this fall, one school district has launched an attempt to financially capitalize on the dilemma.
President Trump has repeatedly called for schools to open for the fall semester, a sentiment echoed by the American Academy of Pediatrics who feel that children can safely return to classrooms. The AAP also said that children's mental health was at risk by continued isolation and demonstrably ineffective "distance learning" attempted by public school systems during the first five months of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
But many teachers, bolstered by powerful unions, are digging their heels into the dirt and flatly refusing to return to the classroom this fall, no matter what elected leaders decide is best for the children. Other teachers have claimed they would return only with a grave sense of fear for their own lives. Many have told harrowing sob stories about updating their wills.
Yes, the teachers have a sad duty to teach our germy kids, even though they never before rewrote their wills during awful flu seasons, bouts of lice, and other widespread infections. Children, as scientists repeatedly point out, are at the least amount of risk for illness or death from COVID-19 and the poorest tansmitters.
Despite this, school districts have offered to build teachers glass partitions and provide them will PPE for the school year, but still, many teachers have said that the school plans to reopen simply aren't safe enough. Teaching your kids, they say, just isn't worth risking their own lives.
Just this week, leading epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse told United Kingdom paper The Times that there was, in fact, not even a single case of pupil-to-teacher transmission of COVID-19 recorded anywhere in the world.
One teacher's union in California, however, finally said the quiet part out loud earlier this month when they said they wouldn't return to the classroom until the Los Angeles police department was defunded, and charter schools were shut down. So safety, it seems, wasn't their number one priority after all.
Cities like New York and many other places have already announced that they will not be having a full-time in-classroom school year. Distance learning, a virtual online portal for students that has maddened kids and parents for months, will continue for millions of children across the country. Even without the physical classroom, the built in child care, and included meals, however, Americans shouldn't expect any kind of relief in taxes used for the bloated education funding. No, those dollars are still due to the tax man and none of us have any control over where they go, whether our kids are in school or not.
Parents accustomed to working during the day while their child is in school are also scrambling for alternatives, as they accept the reality that "distance learning" is here to stay.
As a "solution," the Cave Creek Unified School District in Arizona actually had the audacity to tell parents worried about child care this fall that they can still drop their kids off at school Monday through Friday. Of course, there won't be teachers, kids are responsible for teaching themselves on their own virtual learning devices, and oh yeah, it'll cost $200 per week, per child. They call it "Distance Learning Childcare," and no, they're not going to feed your kids either.
"Distance Learning Childcare is supervised support for your online learner, ages kindergarten through sixth grade from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Students must bring their own electronic device, earbuds, lunch and water bottle each day.
CDC guidelines for cleaning and safety will be followed. Staff and students must wear masks. No part time spots available."
Gee, look at that, parents! So while your kids' teachers comfortably continue their careers from home, away from your germ-infested spawn, you now have the opportunity to continue to pay for public school education the kids aren't getting while ALSO paying money for them to sit in a school with no teachers!
As the future for public education remains uncertain, parents and child advocates have been expressing the need to offer more solutions for families that will not depend on teacher's unions getting over themselves. Many have floated the idea of homeschooling pods: small groups of children with access to parent-selected curriculums and tutors. Others have considered traditional homeschooling and charter schools.
Many parents are also disillusioned by the material that has been taught to their kids in recent times. As the pandemic brought the classrooms home this year, parents got a first hand look at exactly how biased, woke, and history-revising some course material had become.
Faced with education-free child care at an exorbitant cost in place of schools full of indoctrinating teachers, now may just be the moment of reckoning for public education parents have been waiting for.