President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, admitted in an interview Wednesday that school closure policies negatively impacted children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weingarten’s interview with Yahoo Finance Live was supposed to focus on contributing factors to teacher shortages across the U.S. In the course of discussion, Weingarten noted that “you have all of the pandemic stress and strain … kids are coming in with greater needs due to two years of disruption.”
Watchdog group Americans for Public Trust wrote on Twitter that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) policy to keep schools closed was due to Weingarten and other union leaders “bullying the CDC into changing scientific guidance.” The AFT was granted last-minute input on the CDC school reopening guidance and met with the governing body multiple times throughout the pandemic.
🚨 @RWeingarten finally admits that prolonged school closures (caused by her and other union leaders bullying the CDC into changing scientific guidance) hurt American children:
“…kids are coming in with greater needs because of 2 years of disruption.” pic.twitter.com/Dd2QfuopD1
— Americans for Public Trust (@apublictrust) August 10, 2022
Weingarten was paid almost $450,000 between 2021 and 2022 while pushing for school closures, more than seven times the average salary of a high school teacher. Nevertheless, Weingarten maintained in Wednesday’s interview that the teacher shortage is due to retirements, higher pay in non-teaching jobs, and pandemic stress and strain.
When Yahoo Finance hosts asked her directly about teacher salaries, Weingarten avoided the question. “It’s not a simple solution,” she said, adding that there are “obvious remedies, some of which don’t cost a dime and some of which cost money, which is- and the money is there from the Biden administration for doing stuff certainly in the short run.”
She then suggested that schools lower class sizes but neither explained how to achieve this without hiring more teachers nor clarified what “stuff” meant.
Author Douglas Murray noted Weingarten’s refusal to take responsibility for multiple crises in American schools in an interview with Fox News, saying it’s “amazing that she blames everybody but herself” for teacher shortages. (RELATED: Massachusetts Lawmakers Want To Clear All ‘Obstacles’ So Kids Can Use Medical Cannabis In School)
“Randi’s legacy is one of failure, is one of harming kids, and is one of working against the interest of parents,” Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo told the Daily Caller News Foundation in May. “She should immediately resign and enroll in a remedial English and grammar course.”