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News Analysis Jan 25, 2021 10:11 PM EST

BREAKING: Biden sides with Chicago Teachers Union to keep kids out of school

President Biden has come down on the side of the Chicago Teachers Union that has refused to go back to work and threatened to strike.

BREAKING: Biden sides with Chicago Teachers Union to keep kids out of school
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Speaking to the press on Monday, President Biden, who has pledged to get kids back in school during his first 100 days in office, has come down on the side of the Chicago Teachers Union that has refused to go back to work and threatened to strike.

A reporter laid out the Chicago Teachers Union's contention that they do not want to return to the classroom without vaccines, and asked Biden "do you believe that teachers should return to school now?"

"I believe," said Biden, "we should make school classrooms safe and secure for the students, for the teachers, and for the help that's in those schools maintaining those facilities."

"We need new ventilation systems in those schools, we need testing for people coming in and out of the classes, we need testing for teachers as well as students, and we need the capacity, the capacity to know that in fact the circumstance in the school is safe and secure for everyone.

"For example, there's no reason why, the clear guidance will be that every school should be thoroughly sanitized, from the lavatories to the hallways. And so this is about making, and none of the school districts that I'm aware of, there may be some, public school districts, have insisted that all those pieces be in place.

"And I might add, it's the same kind of thing I hope we can do with small businesses and businesses. Making sure they have the capacity to test their workers when they come in. To make sure they have plastic dividers between their booths in their restaurants etc., to make sure they can sanitize.

"So it's not so much about the idea of teachers aren't going to work. The teachers I know they want to work, they just want to work in a safe environment, and as safe as we can rationally make it, and we can do that. And we should be able to open up every school, kindergarten through 8th grade, if in fact we administer these tests.

"And it will have the added advantage, I might add, of putting millions of people back to work. All those mothers and fathers that are home taking care of their children rather than go to work even when they can work. They're not able to do it unless they have the luxury of working distance-wise like many of us do. They're not able to do it."

Chicago Public Schools have been working hard to get kids back into the classroom, yet the Chicago Teachers Union has absolutely refused to work with the school district to do what's best for the kids, which is to educate them in person. Instead, the union is threatening to strike, demanding that teachers who refuse to go back to work but cannot give a medical exemption get paid anyway.

Biden's claims as to what needs to happen to schools before they will be permitted by teachers unions to is directly from the guidance that was issued to the Biden Harris team by the National Education Association, which is the largest union in the country, representing nearly 3 million teachers and education administrators.

In that guidance, the NEA demands full overhauls and retrofits of existing school buildings, as well as massive amounts of investment to the tune of $175 billion. They asked for $175 billion to be distributed to public schools across the nation to recover from coronavirus even though so many students are not currently being educated adequately in the nations largest school districts.

The NEA endorsed Biden back in March, and now they have made their demands known. They want more digital learning capability, not less, and they demanded a nation-wide mask mandate, which Biden has enacted.

The guidance from many in education, including teachers, is that schools should be open and that children are being damaged by this refusal to allow them to attend school. Suicides are up across the board for school children and teens, yet Biden, and his buddies at the executive union level, are more concerned with their demands for costly improvements.

Biden has promised to get kids back into the classroom within his first 100 days in office, but in this promise he has only made provision for kindergarten through 8th grade students. High school students still have no clear idea of when or if they will be allowed to return to school.

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