I have seen the race card pulled for many different situations, but this is the first time I have seen it pulled for reopening schools.
You would think that reopening schools and giving children (of all colors) a chance to get back to learning so that they can excel at life would be welcomed with open arms.
However, the United Teachers of Lose Angeles (UTLA) is calling California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen schools on Monday “a recipe for propagating structural racism.”
The plan, which was announced by Newsom and Democratic leaders in the state legislature, provides $6.6 billion for schools to accelerate the reopening process as coronavirus cases drop. “$2 billion would fund safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades and COVID-19 testing. $4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services,” the governor’s office said in a press release.
The key to the plan is a financial incentive: schools would lose 1% in eligible funding for everyday that they remain closed past the end of March for children in kindergarten through second grade. “Schools in the state’s Red Tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade, or risk the same penalty,” the press release explained. Moreover, 10% of state vaccines would be set aside for school employees.
UTLA released a statement claiming that rich white schools would benefit the most from them reopening.
They said, “Educators are being unfairly targeted by wealthier and healthier people who are not experiencing this disease in the same way as students and families in our communities. If this were a rich person’s disease, we would have seen a very different response. We would not have the high rate of infections and deaths.”
UTLA continued, “Our goals for a safe physical return to schools remain the same: One: LA County must be out of the purple tier. Two:Staff required to return to in-person work must be either fully vaccinated or provided access to full vaccination. Three:Safety conditions must be in place in our schools, such as PPE, social distancing, ventilation, and a cleaning regimen.”
“If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier and healthier school communities that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and Brown communities do,” said UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz. “This is a recipe for propagating structural racism and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve,” the union concluded.
This is quite possibly the most absurd thing that I have heard today....and I have heard A LOT.
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