Schools Reopen — and Teachers Fight for Their Lives, Their Students, and the Future of Public Education

September 15, 2020 / PSU-AAUP

Rethinking Schools

by Sarah Jaffe

September 2020

As schools begin to reopen, within teacher unions around the country, teachers have been coming together to discuss the risks they’re willing to take — both to protect public health in the short term, and to protect public education in the long run. 

The starting place for the unions, noted Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is that the push to reopen schools as if they could wish the pandemic away, whether it was coming from President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos or from Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot, “was wrong and dangerous.” With safety as their first concern, the CTU organized through its delegates, held tele-town halls, talked with community groups it has been allied with since its landmark 2012 strike, held car caravans, and ultimately announced a strike vote. 

Within hours of the announcement that the union would vote on a strike, another announcement came: Chicago schools would open virtually, not in person.

Read the full article at Rethinking Schools

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