Another Democrat caves: New Jersey's governor re-opens schools, gets flak from teachers' unions
They're starting to go down like dominoes.
First, they vowed to keep the schools closed through the rest of the year, all for the teachers' unions sake...and then they started to reverse.
It started with New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio, and then New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Now, New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy, has joined, opting to reopen, too — except he's getting a lot of pushback from the foremost opponents of in-person learning, the state's teachers' unions.
According to Politico:
TRENTON — New Jersey schools can begin the academic year remotely, Gov Phil Murphy announced Wednesday, but in order to access the online option, districts will have to prove to the state they cannot reopen safely for in-person learning.
"There has to be a rationale associated with not opening at least in hybrid," Murphy said at his regular coronavirus briefing. "There's got to be a reason for it."
Local website NJ.com notes:
It comes less than 24 hours after leaders of the state's largest teacher union and groups representing school administrators issued a joint statement Tuesday night calling on Murphy and the state Department of Education to have all New Jersey schools open remotely in the fall over health concerns because of the virus.
Little two-step there. Murphy says schools that really don't want to open and can meet some criteria for that can get an all-remote exception. But the burden of proof is on them to prove they need it.
That's about right, though don't put it past the unions to manipulate matters to ensure they can meet those vaunted criteria. In New Jersey, things are so unioned up they can probably claim they can't get a custodian to open the windows for optimal air circulation because it's just too dangerous.
Yet the teachers' unions are getting heat, too, falsely claiming they're all in for reopening schools, too, under their own criteria:
"We fully support and share the governor's goal of moving to in-person instruction as soon as the science and data say we can do so responsibly and when the resources are available in our school buildings to do it safely," the union leaders added.
Science, these days, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
A huge definitive new study done via science from the U.K. has just show that the prospect of teachers catching COVID from kids is virtually nil. Ten thousand students from 200 institutions opened in the wake of the coronavirus showed....virtually no transmissions. Yes, indeed, there's some science there, and all it's showing is that the teachers' union is superstitious.
These clowns don't have science on their side.
They don't even have empirical examples. Over in Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp was an early champion of reopening schools, and went ahead and did it, it all "went real well," as The Hill reported. Europe, Asia, and pretty much the entire rest of the world has re-opened all schools safely, leaving just the unioned-up states — clustered in solid blue states — to dump their kids in the name of enacting easy-street teaching for teachers. And yes, little kids don't take hours and hours of daily online learning well; actually, no one does. So as students in Iowa and Georgia and Texas get ahead (a good chart here shows who's open and who's not), students in solid blue shutdown states are left behind. Kids in Israel and South Korea are doing great, too.
This intransigence is also driving enrollment into private schools, which are reopening, as well as home-schooling, which has shot up in popularity. Parents are also moving away from these leftist districts that are basically just dumping the students for online learning in the name of an easy ride for teachers. Grocery workers and medical workers and postal workers have dealt with COVID for months exposed to the general public, but somehow teachers are special. Yet the risk from little kids is far lower than it is from the general public. That's killing off public support for public schools by leaps and bounds.
NJ.com reports that a solid majority of parents want schools to reopen — 46-42, a four-point differential that would be called a landslide in an election. The Federalist notes that Democrats are caving left and right after New York has caved. A last reason for the intransigence is to Get Trump, who wants schools reopened and normalcy restored. That may be the biggest reason of all for the refusal to reopen, but the forces are amassing against them now as one Democratic governor after another peels away from them.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain picture, enhanced with FotoSketcher.