American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten is facing criticism from parents and Republicans over a speech she gave in favor of fully reopening schools this fall.
Weingarten, and teachers’ unions generally, opposed returning to in-person learning for much of the pandemic. Weingarten’s late rebranding as a proponent of reopening schools prompted a fresh round of criticism.
“Conditions have changed. We can and we must reopen schools in the fall for in-person teaching, learning and support. And we must keep them open fully and safely five days a week,” Weingarten said in a speech Thursday.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., told Fox News that Weingarten “is attempting to rewrite history by framing her union as part of the ‘solution.'”
“The truth is that students would have been in-person this spring semester if teachers unions had gotten out of the way and Biden had grown a much-needed spine to stand up to them. But instead, schools were kept closed which caused months of harm for students and families, particularly those who are low-income and have disabilities,” added Foxx, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee.
“That said, I appreciate that she is finally acknowledging the science and expects all schools to reopen in the fall, especially those that received COVID-19 relief funds.”
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., also weighed in, saying that it was “about time” that the union should “follow the science.”
“Medical experts have been clear for months that there’s no reason for schools to remain closed. It’s about time that the Americ
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