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Fri Jul 17, 2020, 10:20 PM

Teachers, Parents Outraged At WH School Reopening Push; Teachers Ready #RedFor Ed Resurrection

"Outraged Over Trump's Inept School Reopening Push, Teachers Ready #RedForEd Resurrection." "I think we are closer right now to a national teacher strike than we have ever been in this country." By Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams, July 17, 2020. Excerpts, Ed.

As teachers and parents across the U.S. continue to express outrage over the federal government's demand that public schools fully reopen in the next few weeks for the fall semester, some educators are looking to revitalize the nationwide Red for Ed movement of 2018 which led thousands of them to walk out of their classrooms in a fight for better conditions and wages. The original wave of protests in Oklahoma, Arizona, West Virginia, and other states were focused on properly funding public schools and paying teachers and support staff to ensure a quality education for students.

Now teachers in Florida, where more than 100 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded per day for four days in a row, are demonstrating with signs reading, "Red for Ed, Not Red for Dead" as they express anger over the Trump administration's refusal to ensure schools have safety measures in place in the fall and its simultaneous insistence that schools are "fully operational." Teachers in Tampa are protesting this week as officials decide whether to adopt a hybrid teaching model this fall, with some in-person instruction and some remote. In June, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conducted a poll of its 1.7 million members and found that two-thirds hoped to teach in person at least part-time this coming school year, provided the government ensures there are proper ventilation and sanitation systems, masks, and the ability to socially distance at schools.

But this month, as the CDC has released guidelines recommending that schools are able to follow those protocols, President Donald Trump dismissed those requirements as "very tough and expensive" to provide.

Last weekend, Educ. Secy. Betsy DeVos appeared on Fox News to repeat an earlier threat to schools which don't fully reopen in the fall, regardless of the administration's refusal to ensure they can do so safely, saying they should face funding cuts.

Republicans in Congress are reportedly considering making emergency school funding conditional on reopening in the next coronavirus relief package.

"It's as if Trump and DeVos want to create chaos and want to jeopardize reopening," Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, told The Guardian. "There's no other reason why they would be this reckless, this callous, this cruel." Jessica Salfia, a teacher in WV who participated in the Red for Ed strikes in 2018, told New York magazine that DeVos, a proponent on school voucher programs which pull funding from public schools, is using the deadly pandemic to "dismantle public education" once and for all. "There is no doubt in my mind it is a calculated attempt," Salfia told New York on Friday. "There is no other reason to put our teachers and our schools in danger and to push us to reopen."

Weingarten expressed fear that, fed up with chronically underfunded schools and mistreatment by federal and state leaders, many teachers will simply leave the profession if the government tries to force them back into schools amid the pandemic. "Their recklessness scared people so much that now I fear a brain drain of people basically opting out of teaching, because they don't want to jeopardize their own families," Weingarten said. So far, some of the nation's largest school districts have refused to participate in the Trump administration's potentially-deadly experiment in the fall. Los Angeles and San Diego schools are opting to use an online learning model, and NYC schools will hold some in-person classes and will stick to online instruction for others.

"Academically our students will fall behind, but we can help them recover from that situation," Lisa Kamp, a special education teacher in Tulsa, OK told New York. "However, our students cannot recover from death by coronavirus."...

More, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/17/outraged-over-trumps-inept-school-reopening-push-teachers-ready-redfored

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Reply Teachers, Parents Outraged At WH School Reopening Push; Teachers Ready #RedFor Ed Resurrection (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 2020 OP
Archetypist Jul 2020 #1
appalachiablue Jul 2020 #2
Archetypist Jul 2020 #3
BigmanPigman Jul 2020 #4
Archetypist Jul 2020 #5
appalachiablue Jul 2020 #6

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jul 17, 2020, 10:36 PM

1. A friend of mine

has two Masters degrees and teaches elementary school, and is specially trained in special ed. She is already going back to school to change careers and go into computer science instead. Not her passion.. but she has for kids to feed, is a single mom, and would prefer not to spread Covid19 to her kids. That brain drain is happening. This country is shooting itself in the foot.

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Response to Archetypist (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 17, 2020, 10:44 PM

2. Brain drain and decline it is. Your friend is smart and

aware, but how disappointing for the education field and her after two M.A.s. Wishing her all the best. We have school teacher relatives and I was an educator in the museum, and health and disability areas.

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 12:11 AM

3. the lack of respect for the profession bewilders me

I really just don't get it

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Response to Archetypist (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 12:55 AM

4. I changed careers and became a teacher since it had a union.

While I was teaching there was zero respect for teachers (this was in one of the school districts mentioned above, San Diego Unified). I believe it has to do with the profession being mainly held by women. That is why there is low pay and little respect. The stereotypical "old maid school teacher" is still stuck in the collective American mind.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 07:13 PM

5. I think you're right there.

100%.

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Response to Archetypist (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 07:18 PM

6. "Women's work"

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