(PresidentialWire.com)- Ultra-liberal Michael Bloomberg just can’t keep his name out of the news, even as he’s irrelevant from a political perspective right now.
Bloomberg, the failed 2020 Democratic nominee for president and former mayor of New York City, published an op-ed recently that encouraged union leaders in education to commit bringing all students into the classroom for the start of the fall school year.
He said that re-opening schools should be “priority No. 1.”
Bloomberg’s op-ed, which his own news organization published, read:
“Getting kids back in the classroom must be a society-wide priority. We must turn the page on the last school year, when too many unions obstructed or slowed down school re-openings. America’s children cannot afford a repeat of that harmful episode, and it’s essential that teachers help lead the way.”
Many states and school districts around the country initially committed to bringing students back into the classroom full time in the fall. They made those announcements late in spring, though, when the COVID-19 numbers were much lower, before the Delta variant started to cause a spike in cases.
Now, many education leaders are reconsidering their initial plans, and are thinking about going back to at least a hybrid system of virtual learning and in-person learning.
Bloomberg, though, said that kids have suffered so much intellectually and socially during the pandemic that they need to go back to school. He also cited the fact that children have a lesser chance of catching COVID-19 than adults.
In his op-ed, Bloomberg cited a McKinsey & Company study that found 1.6 million students in elementary school throughout the U.S. were behind five months, on average, in math and four months in their reading studies.
The communities that were the hardest-hit are predominantly Hispanic and Black ones and also districts that have lower income.
As Bloomberg wrote:
“Most parents won’t be surprised by those findings. They’ve watched their kids struggle to learn online, or become increasingly isolated without the vital social interactions in-person schooling provides.”
Remote learning was a “slow-motion disaster,” as Bloomberg wrote.
Another major issue that’s still up in the air as school will begin again soon around the country is whether teachers should be mandated to have a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s especially important because children 11 years old and younger aren’t able to get a vaccine just yet.
Bloomberg gave praise to the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who said recently that her union supports mandating vaccines for all teachers.
Many teachers are already vaccinated, though, so that could be a moot point.
In closing, Bloomberg said the White House, union leaders and the Department of Education should all call for schools to open full time in-person in the fall with “no exceptions.”
“The time for excuses is over. After saying two weeks ago that the union would ‘try to open up schools,’ Weingarten seemed to realize she misspoke — because trying isn’t good enough.”