Public school teachers have for years insisted they are indispensable. That’s a hard sell when teachers’ unions — along with help from Democratic politicians and lots of members’ dues — have fought to keep schools closed during the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raked in over $1 million from political action committees associated with teachers’ unions, Fox News reported. This money was pouring in as many unions were fighting for schools to stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The House Majority PAC associated with Pelosi was flooded with the seven-figure donations from the American Federation of Teachers PAC union money. The funds were meant to bolster campaigns for House Democrats who sparred with Republicans over school openings. The take is expected to carry those politicians through the 2022 midterm elections.
The totals are staggering as is the timing of the donations. The AFT funneled $1.6 million to Democrats between Jan. 1 and March 31 of this year compared to only $45,000 during the same period in the 2020 election cycle.
Notably, AFT president Randi Weingarten held the line against schools reopening in person until only a couple of weeks ago. This was in direct contradiction to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, but somehow both Weingarten and Pelosi echoed the same “real concerns about ventilation” that would justify keeping the schools empty.
Other unions like the National Education Association’s PAC also contributed record amounts in the first quarter of this year. Democrats received $371,000 in donations, accounting for a year-over-year increase of 38% compared to the $269,000 collected in the first three months of last year.
Meanwhile, many students are only beginning to return to in-person learning for the first time since the pandemic began over a year ago. While many districts had been offered live online instruction during that time, some had none at all, the Washington Post reported. It was mostly the non-white students who suffered from this, giving lie to Democrats’ supposed advocacy for minority Americans.
Parents are rightly concerned about the impact of having their children isolated and learning from computer screens for months on end. Even as other facets of life returned to normal, the teachers’ unions held out as long as it could. They’ve tried to convince parents that public school is vital, but that’s hard to believe in light of how much money and effort they spent to keep teachers from teaching.