Opinion

De Blasio Cozies Up to Teachers Unions, Pushes Back Reopening of Schools

Despite adamantly claiming otherwise as recently as Aug. 27, Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to delay the reopening of his city’s schools.

De Blasio made the announcement during a media conference Tuesday.

De Blasio’s office released a statement on the same day saying that he and “Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, CSA President Mark Cannizzaro, and DC 37 Executive Director Henry A. Garrido today announced an agreement to begin in-person learning on September 21st.”

The United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and District Council 37 are all powerful unions representing employees who work in various sectors of the educational infrastructure.

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Teachers will return to buildings on Sept. 8, and “will have dedicated time for training, professional development, and readiness to collaborate and prepare for blended and remote learning,” according to the statement.

They can begin engaging students to help prepare them for the actual school year on Sep. 16.

Despite his best attempts to spin this as some sort of a win, the fact remains that de Blasio is kowtowing to the whims of teachers unions and pushing back the start of the school year.

Look no further than his media call on Aug. 27, when he remained steadfast in his commitment to reopening on Sept. 10.

“Final point to why school opens on Sept. 10, because, again, I remind everyone the law that exists in this state related to how many school days we need to achieve, the fact that our kids have been waiting to have their education resume and in-person education is irreplaceable,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio’s flip-flop comes despite a curious quote from the Aug. 27 call in which he even admitted how much more effective in-person learning is.

“And we know we just know, and I have not heard anyone in the unions disagree with this statement, that in-person learning is much more effective than remote learning,” he said.

“This is a great day for every public school student in New York City,” de Blasio added Tuesday in announcing the delay to the start of the school year.

“We face a return to school unlike any in our city’s history, but New Yorkers have made it possible because of their extraordinary work fighting back COVID-19. Our agreement puts the health and safety of our 1.1 million students, teachers, and school staff above everything else. We couldn’t be more excited to get our young people back to the classrooms where they learn best.”

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To be clear, it’s great that children will be returning to the classroom properly, especially in as populous a place as New York City.

It’s just a shame that it took a little bit of bending the knee to unions to get there.

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