Teachers’ Unions Pushing for Removal of Local Control over School Reopenings 

Written by Justin Culetu 

With COVID-19 hysteria continuing to keep people from living their normal daily lives, several California school district board superintendents and teachers’ unions have called for Gov. Gavin Newsom to implement a universal reopening strategy for California schools.

On November 2, a letter signed by superintendents of San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Santa Ana, Sacramento, and Oakland school districts asked Gov. Newsom for diligent state control on school openings instead of local control. The letter calls for state-provided testing and stricter requirements for bringing students back to school.

This is yet another example of the negative impact that union control over school boards has had on the well-being of students across the state. Instead of paying attention to studies that prove schools are not super-spreaders of COVID-19, or considering the consequences of prolonged remote learning, the unions are failing to put the welfare of students ahead of their own agenda. 

By formally asking for state control over school reopenings, Sacramento bureaucrats are given the job of determining how many of the 977 school districts in California can and cannot move to in-person learning, instead of having informed local leaders decide if the counties in their district meet the criteria to safely reopen. With this logic, if one district is safe to move forward with in-person learning, they would not be allowed to due to the universal control the California government would have if this plan is implemented. Thus, the children of that district are forced to abide by the unions’ demand to keep them in a remote learning environment.

With all of the San Diego Unified School District board members currently supported by the teachers’ union, it is unlikely that they will question the demands of the union. Although private and parochial schools are opening safely, public schools refuse to follow, and state control over all the school districts in terms of reopening is certainly not the answer.