The president of the nation’s second largest teachers union will testify at a U.S. House Select Subcommittee’s hearing on school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Select Subcommittee told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten agreed Monday to go before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic on April 26 to testify at its hearing titled “The Consequences of School Closures, Part 2: The President of the American Federation of Teachers Ms. Randi Weingarten,” the Select Subcommittee told the DCNF. The hearing will focus on the effects of school shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and how Weingarten and the teachers union contributed to closing schools. (RELATED: Teachers Union Boss Raked In Massive Six-Figure Salary While Fighting To Close Schools)
“Keeping America’s children in schools should have been the top priority of every governmental organization, school district and teachers union across our country,” Select Subcommittee Republican Chairman Brad Wenstrup told the DCNF. “Even after data confirmed that the ‘science’ did not justify prolonged school closures, Ms. Weingarten and AFT fought to keep our children away from a healthy and successful learning environment by influencing CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] school reopening guidance. I look forward to hearing Ms. Weingarten’s testimony and learning the truth about the role AFT played in promoting unscientific school closures that harmed the academic, mental, physical and social development of our youth.”
In 2021, Weingarten, the AFT and the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers union, worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to draft reopening guidance for schools. After the CDC announced that students could return to school and that in-person instruction was safe, the AFT called the reopening “reckless and unsafe” for educators and children.
The hearing aims to “delve into the role Ms. Weingarten and the AFT played in editing the CDC’s school reopening guidance and keeping schools closed longer than necessary,” a subcommittee press release stated.
In December 2022, Weingarten did not testify at a previous subcommittee hearing titled “preparing for and preventing the next public health emergency: lessons learned from the Coronavirus crisis.” The hearing aimed to discuss the AFT and Weingarten’s role in drafting government guidance on school closures.
“It’s rare to receive an invitation to testify before Congress … but I look forward to a real discussion — with congressional leadership and appropriate notice — on the challenges educators, students and families faced during COVID and their efforts to help kids recover and thrive,” Weingarten previously said.
AFT did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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