Skip to comments.Battle over COVID-19 school openings goes to the courts
Posted on 08/30/2020 8:47:57 AM PDT by yesthatjallen
Teachers unions are waging court fights across the country aimed at unwinding what they say are unsafe and politically motivated timetables for reopening schools that risk exposing personnel to the coronavirus pandemic.
State officials eager to ramp up brick-and-mortar school buildings are facing lawsuits from Florida to Texas to Iowa over reopening plans as well as access to the COVID-19 infection data needed to monitor the rate of spread within school communities.
At the same time, lawsuits are flying from the opposition direction: Parents in several states including New York, Massachusetts and Oregon, dissatisfied with web-based teaching alternatives, are suing to force state officials to reopen physical schools sooner, as courts are increasingly called upon to referee the fight over education in the age of coronavirus.
A legal storm is brewing as safety and social distancing requirements for a physical return to school begin to take shape around the country, Maria Ferguson, executive director of the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University, wrote on the education website The 74.
As millions of students prepare for the first day of school whether in-person, remote or a hybrid of the two the fight over the reopening physical school buildings is likely to intensify.
The debate over in-person K-12 instruction planning is inseparably tied to the issues of child care needs and parents ability to return to the workforce to help revive the struggling economy, all of which is playing out against the backdrop of fast approaching November election in a country that has seen nearly six million cases and more than 181,000 deaths from COVID-19.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...
The media narrative is Republican governors and by extension, Trump, want to prematurely open schools putting teachers and students at risk.
The truth is parents, who are filing lawsuits, want schools reopened and it's teachers unions demanding schools stay closed until we have a vaccine or a cure or better covid protocols.
...while getting paid for less work.
I don’t know that keeping NEA thugs from conducting classes is a bad thing.
One benefit of this whole mess is more people are realizing that “educators” are replaceable, if they’re needed at all.
Close the schools ... furlough ALL staff ... return tax dollars to residents ...
Im with the teachers on this one. If COVID-19 is so dangerous that business establishments like restaurants and gyms are forced to close and people are being ordered to surrender their civil liberties and wear stupid diapers on their faces in public, then youll never convince me that its safe to open schools.
Maybe. I think it's much more likely that, like so many, teachers have discovered they really like relaxing at home and collecting enhanced unemployment checks. They're in no big hurry to return.
“...teachers have discovered they really like relaxing at home and collecting enhanced unemployment checks. They’re in no big hurry to return.”
Ding ding ding!
Its heartbreaking. My heart breaks for all students in the United States right now, from K through college.
Everybody is remote, or hybrid (half the class at home, staggered) right now. Perhaps only 10% of the entire US is fully in person right now. It will be more obvious after Labor Day just how shut down all schools are.
The little ones are crying and hating school sitting in front of laptops all day.
One third of students in LA never even logged in once last Spring.
Teens are denied friends, sports, music, dances, activitiesany normal high school experience.
College students are subjected to a bait and switch where they are told classes will be in person, they pay the full tuition, and then colleges announce it is the students fault for having parties and then switch to online.
Meanwhile all education at all levels is subpar, and the rest of the civilized world has reopened schools. In Europe and Asia, schools are the last to close and the first to reopen. They all prioritize children and education more than the United States.
In person education is critical infrastructure (like meat packing plants) so parents can go to work and the United States can have an educated workforce and citizenry and military.
These closed schools are a national security issue and I hope Trump will sign an executive order after the election so that they are reopened. He declared in person education essential a couple of weeks ago. There are too many teachers who vote in swing states to order reopening now.
The rest of the world has reopened schools successfully. Children don’t seem to transmit the virus to teachers—one exception was Israel which involved middle schoolers refusing to mask, packed in a classroom with the AC on.
Europe and Asia barely closed schools, and prioritized their reopening. Sweden didn’t close schools at all. They all value education and children more than the United States, unfortunately.
Teachers who are over 60 or at risk because of underlying conditions and/or have irrational fears of the virus could be streamed into the classroom for instruction, with an aide to monitor.
And in person education could be voluntary for both families and teachers, with the option for remote learning intact indefinitely. Many teachers do want to return to the classroom.
From the article,
“On Aug. 24, a Florida judge ruled in favor of the union and temporarily halted the statewide order. In his decision, Judge Charles Dodson struck down the orders unconstitutional provisions and blasted DeSantis for having essentially ignored the state’s constitutional requirement that schools be operated safely.”
Does this mean expulsion of violent students will no longer be blocked because of “racial disparity”? Does this mean that schools will finally be called to task for the sexual predators on staff? Does this mean teachers will no longer be permitted to indoctrinate children encouraging risky behavior? No. Never mind then.
The closure of public schools is indeed a bad thing—many parents can’t or won’t homeschool. I think about 40% of households with children in the US are now headed by single mothers who are more or less broke—how many of those single moms who are working full time (if they are lucky) can teach HS seniors Calculus and Physics? Not many, I’d think.
We have to be realistic about that US families look like right now—they are not two parent households with one smart stay at home mom who can teach higher math and science. And it’s tragic to stick students—whether elementary, middle, high school, or college—in front of a laptop all day. Humans need other humans.
We need to reopen schools, and quickly.
Yes to everything you said. The repercussions of this insanity will haunt us for years.
Teachers aren’t collecting unemployment checks. They are collecting their full salaries, with negotiated “distance learning” contracts that involve very little live synchronous instruction, in many cases.
They can post one assignment a week and call it a day. They are getting full pay. Our students in the United States are being hurt by this (even if yes they are getting less indoctrination, which is a good thing, they are also getting less instruction, which is a bad thing).
This is not happening, except for a few furloughed “para” instructors.
Even the groundskeepers at closed schools have their jobs intact. My school district just paid for five brand new F-150 trucks—for maintenance of the closed schools!
It’s such a racket.
The operative word being “If”.
In a pandemic demographics matter.
Tough sh!t. I don't like walking through airports and riding on planes wearing a mask. Airport shuttle buses suck and I increase my risk of contracting the virus by staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and going to the customer's place of business where I meet and interact with random people.
I do this because it's the only way I can create value for my employer. I can't do that sitting at home in front of a computer. The quality of the product I produce just isn't very good that way. It's not unlike educating my children from a Zoom conference where the teacher "teaches" for 30 minutes, and then throws a bunch of crap onto Canvas for homework where my students either teach themselves or a parent does the teaching. Remote learning produces a crap product and no amount of lipstick you slather on it will make that pig purdy.
When we compare the plight of the private sector to that of the teacher, the teachers lecture us that we should find someone to take care of our kids while we're busy at work so they get full value from remote instruction. If not, we should find other work that will allow us to stay home so they can remain safe. I guess I should learn to code. The vast majority of teachers have no clue how their paycheck and stellar benefits come to them. They have no idea that a healthy public sector cannot exist without a robust private sector. All they know is that the public education system exists to serve them. Screw them.
“We need to reopen schools, and quickly.”
Meh. If so, do it as Reagan did with the Traffic Controllers union demads - if they don’t go to work, replace them. There’s plenty of smart people who can actually read and write (and teach others to do the same) to take over from the semi-literate extreme-left propagandists.
Closing the schools is about closing businesses as parents have their kids at home.
these little idiots don't care that their lattes are made by people working and their trash is picked up and their ER's and drs offices are open to treat them because heaven knows only teachers get exposed to disease, not docs or nurses or cops etc....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.