• Jorge Velasco

VELASCO: Biden's Teacher's Union Embezzlement

Follow the science here, follow the science there, follow the science everywhere.

In early December, president Joe Biden made a pledge that, in his first 100 days of office, he would reopen a majority of American schools to begin in-person instruction for the first time since the pandemic began. As 2021 began and the school year comes to a close, we've learned that there is only one group that controls schools; it's not parents or school districts, nor is it localities and not even a Democratic president. It's the teachers unions.

Press secretary Jen Psaki made sure that the redefinition of 'reopening' was clear to who the president really serves:

“His goal that he set is to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by day 100 of his presidency and that means some teaching in classrooms. So at least one day a week.”

The Biden administration had already made it easy for unions to intentionally stall the re-openings. In Biden's stimulus bill, $122B was set aside for education relief; whatever that meant. According to the National Education Association, it was so school systems “can hire more teachers, more paraeducators, more custodians, more nurses, more counselors.”

As any snowball effect would have it, this leads to more union members and an increased union revenue. Specifically, the law allows hirings of "additional educators to address learning loss", which comes as a revelation for union allies who list learning loss as a "hoax". But it would be oxymoronic to claim the unions, Biden, and an intentionally poor reallocation of funds are practicing what they preach.

Even then, Biden continues to blow his own trumpet regarding minorities and poor inner-city families being hit hardest by the pandemic. Yet, a University of Pennsylvania study estimates that, for every month a school is closed, costs students an average of $12,000-$15,000 for future earnings. Artificially ballooning school staffs in a COVID-year combined with a decline in enrollment and even missing students can only beg the question: to what extent are Biden and teachers unions compliant in the failure of school re-openings?

Most working parents are old enough to remember when their children took precedence in education policymaking. Gone are the days of fundamentally sound political decisions and instead what George W. Bush once called "the soft bigotry of low expectations". Were working Americans ever supposed to expect anything different from an administration who only follow the science whenever it's politically convenient for the two culprits?

Parents were met with a virtually impossible decision: work or look over their child's Zoom sessions. How are we to expect a return to normalcy whenever blue collar parents are exiled from their workforce and seemingly replaced by a new generation of undereducated workers? According to the Financial Times, "two out of five working mothers have withdrawn from the workforce or contemplated doing it." An analysis from the National Women's Law Center finds a much worse datapoint:

The total number of women who have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic reached over 2.3 million last month, leaving women’s labor force participation rate – the percent of adult women who are either working or looking for work – at 57.0%. Before the pandemic, women’s labor force participation rate had not been this low since 1988.

An extremely deteriorated workforce led by Democratic elitists who ignore the needs of students and not listening to the necessary demands of parents amounts to immense pressure, numb to the minds of unions and welcome to the pockets of leaders like Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers.

Follow the science, Weingarten has said, while continuing to support the widespread closure of schools. A New York Post expose revealed how said unions vastly influenced the Biden administration into continuing school closures:

The Post’s reporting, based on emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act following a request by the Americans for Public Trust, showed discussions among CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s top officials and union representatives in the days before the Feb. 12 announcement on school-reopening guidelines. ​The emails also showed that language suggested by the union was adopted into the CDC document.​

Let's actually follow the science.

Children have been proven to spread COVID-19 at a much lesser rate than adults. Studies show that teachers do not face an increased risk from children, schools do not drive the spread of COVID-19, and that schools without masks do not fare a worse risk than those who do wear masks.

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found zero instances of child-to-adult transmission within schools among 90,000 students and staff in 11 North Carolina school districts who returned to in-person classes. Over nine weeks, there were 773 community-acquired coronavirus cases as well as 32 infections acquired in schools.

Schools in New York City saw only 191 out of more than 36,000 students and staff test positive for the virus- a rate of .5%.

For the cherry on top, CDC director Rachelle Walensky claimed that 'troubling data' showed a noticeable increase in adolescent hospitalizations, and that many of them required mechanical ventilation:

At the time this study was released, adolescent hospitalizations was nearing its all-time low across the entire pandemic. Furthermore, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showed that approximately 45% of said hospitalizations were listed as 'psychiatric admission'; evidently, research from Stanford University suggests hospitals may be over-counting adolescent hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Even as inflation hits a record high and the unemployment rate stagnates, Biden continues to falsely tout lousy economic feats while simultaneously neglecting the horrendous economic impact children will face when reaching their peak time for earning potential:

According to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, learning disruptions could lower the level of annual economic output in the U.S. by a quarter of a percentage point on average over the next 70 years. While a fraction of a percent may not seem like much, the study, using the CBO projection of potential output, found that the loss to the economy could equal $90 billion a year on average.⁠

Just like they say, follow the science. Especially if it comes from teachers unions, acting as the de facto president.

Jorge Velasco is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The National Times.