These are days of social-political tension in California, not only because of the health and economic crisis, but also because of the education crisis. The battle is between those who want to keep schools closed and those who want to return to the classroom. Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) challenged the teachers union and Governor Gavin Newson by urging teachers not to fund Democratic policies in California by paying their union dues.
Kevin Kiley criticized the California Teachers Association (CTA) for its pressure not to return to face-to-face classes and gave teachers a recommendation:
“If you are a teacher and would rather your paycheck not be used to keep Gavin Newsom in office, groups like the California Policy Center can help you exercise your constitutional right to opt out of paying dues,” the congressman wrote on Twitter.
Governor Gavin Newson’s draconian measures to address the pandemic are no longer well regarded. The economic consequences and, at the same time, the prolonged closure of classrooms, is causing problems for the state of California in general.
Many people suffered job losses, many businesses went bankrupt, and there are children with learning deficiencies and some problems due to the fact that they have been subjected to online classes for more than a year.
Republican Congressman Kiley speaks to Fox News
Kiley told Fox News that he felt compelled to help teachers who are frustrated by Governor Newsom’s closing of schools as an effect of the pandemic response. He mentioned that he “has talked to many teachers who want to return to their classrooms, but “are being prevented from doing so by their union or the governor himself.”
“I was simply pointing out that you, as a teacher, have a very powerful tool at your disposal, and that is to deprive the huge unions that control the governor of their source of power, which is their funding,” Kiley said. “That’s an option that, at least in theory, is available to all teachers, although California politicians have tried to make it very difficult.”
The Congressman said it is vital that this knowledge reach teachers, “given that there is a Newsom recall on the horizon and CTA – one of the most powerful teachers’ unions in the country – “will spend millions to defend them as they spent millions to elect him.”
“And so if you’re a public school teacher who is very frustrated that the governor and CTA have prevented you from being in your classroom and prevented your kids from learning, the last thing you want is for part of your paycheck to subsidize the governor and CTA to maintain this corrupt power structure,” he commented to Kiley to Fox News.
On the other hand, the CTA called the Republican congressman’s assertions a “tall tale.” “Mr. Kiley is wrong and obviously doesn’t understand the laws,” a union spokesman told Fox News.
Newson on the ropes
And in this kind of war between those who want to open the classrooms and those who want to keep them closed under the pandemic slogan, the one who finds himself on the ropes, totally cornered, is Governor Gavin Newson who is criticized for being one of the states most affected economically and health-wise by COVID-19.
Newson has on one side the interests of the teachers’ union, who are pressuring and hindering the reopening of schools. At the same time, he has to deal with his critics -who are not few- and they accuse him of being an accomplice of the CTA. All this when he also has an impeachment process breathing down his neck, added to all the problems of the state.
The Democratic governor is living through an ordeal.
The Democratic governor is living an ordeal
The fact is that the pressure to reopen schools is mounting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a return to the classroom with appropriate health measures.
In fact, as Fox News reviewed, “while other states have resumed some classroom instruction, California’s 10,000 public schools have remained largely closed since the start of the pandemic.”
Parents in California may be wondering, “when will school reopen?”
“As most of the state’s 6 million public school students approach the one-year anniversary of distance learning, frustrated parents are facing the consequences of isolation,” Fox News reads. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention has said there is little evidence of spreading infection in schools when proper precautions are taken. Still, teachers’ unions won’t send their instructors back to the classroom unless they are 100 percent vaccinated.”
Newson’s stance was exceedingly tepid and, practically, sided with the union, as he told teachers that he is willing to negotiate a return to classes, but with a number of demands, including the union refusing to listen to the need of teachers and children.
“If everybody has to be vaccinated, we better tell people the truth: there will be no face-to-face teaching in the state of California,” Newsom blurted out last Thursday, in the midst of this battle to reopen school.
Republican Congressman Kevin Kiley did not forget the teachers’ union either, who he pointed the finger directly at in relation to the, according to him, low quality of the California education system.
“One of the things that could come out of this, in the long run, is that the CTA has been screwing up public education in California for a long time,” Kiley said. “They’ve been limiting school choice, they’ve been condemning poor kids to failing schools, and they’ve created a public education system that is the worst in any state for poor kids or any state other than Alaska.”
The Republican congressman added, “So now that the public has seen that dynamic for what it is, I think it might be harder for them to play that game in the future and maybe there will be an opportunity for meaningful education reforms.”