Health officials in Los Angeles County have dropped a requirement that elementary schools obtain a letter of support from teachers’ unions before being allowed to re-open under waivers, potentially allowing thousands of children to return to school soon.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday:
County officials have made it easier for elementary schools to reopen for their youngest students under waivers, dropping a requirement for schools to provide a letter of support from employee unions as part of the application, The Times has learned.
The move — previewed by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in two conference calls with school and school district leaders Thursday — came a day after county Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced that all schools in L.A. county are now allowed to bring on campus up to 25% of a school’s enrollment to serve students with special needs, especially students with disabilities or students who are learning English.
Combined, the two moves could potentially open the schoolhouse doors for hundreds of thousands of students — the county has about 1.5 million K-12 students.
Many recent studies by education researchers have shown that politics, not science, is driving local decision-making on the re-opening of schools in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two factors most closely correlated with school re-openings are the degree to which local schools are independent from teachers’ unions, and the percentage vote for Donald Trump, according to non-partisan education news website The 74.
The youngest children are believed to be at the lowest risk for coronavirus.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.