Government schools are jobs programs for adults; children are mere afterthoughts.
30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part II
Pandemic Exposes Appalling Behavior of Teachers Unions
By: George Noga – August 8, 2021
During the pandemic teachers unions and government apparatchiks shut down public schools. They shamelessly held children hostage to shake down and to extort every conceivable benefit possible. Their greed may come back to haunt them as their contemptible behavior revealed their true nature to a great many Americans.
It has been crystal clear for well over a year that there is no basis in science for failing to resume traditional classroom teaching. Children are highly unlikely to get Covid or to pass it on. Per the CDC, “There is scant evidence of significant virus transmission among grade school age children.” Schools in Europe, Japan and other places demonstrated schools could safely reopen with proper protocols. Catholic schools in the USA, with over 1.6 million students, stayed open through the pandemic providing yet further evidence that schools could safely remain open for in-person learning.
Teachers in government schools and their unions didn’t care about the horrors that resulted from their greed and disregard for the children entrusted to them. There was at least a year of lost learning that never will be recovered. There was widespread depression and increased family pathologies. There was lost earnings as many parents could no longer work and were forced to remain home to care for children. Meanwhile, unionized teachers went on vacation in a flagrant display of selfishness and contempt.
Parents Lose Faith in Government Schools
The avarice of teachers unions is coming back to bite them. Government schools have been failing for many decades, but the pandemic brought this into sharp focus for many parents. They have lost faith in the public system and are deserting it in droves. Private schools and home schooling both report skyrocketing increases in enrollments, as do Catholic schools. Many more parents are searching for alternatives.
50 school choice bills have been introduced this year in 30 states.
Meanwhile, the failure of government schools to open has led to astounding advances in school choice throughout America. West Virginia just enacted its first educational savings account; Georgia is increasing its voucher program; South Dakota expanded its tax credit vouchers. Arizona, Indiana and Florida are in the process of expanding school choice. Altogether, 50 school choice bills have been introduced in 30 states.
The pandemic unleashed tectonic forces; one can viscerally feel the ground shifting beneath support for government schools run by and for educrats and public sector unions as jobs programs for adults – the children be damned. Thanks to lessons learned in the pandemic, a rapidly expanding cohort of Americans now wants to end the evils wrought by the monopoly of government schools and public sector unions.
Although the pandemic inflicted great harm, it may have hastened the day when every child in America will have the ability to attend the school chosen by his/her family.
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Next is part III in the series – Accountability and School Choice.