As the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie often clashed with teacher unions.
Now out of office, Christie continues to take on the teacher union leadership and what he sees as a disregard for the current evidence on the safety of reopening schools.
“Follow the science. That was Joe Biden’s promise to the American people—until Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers disagreed,” Christie wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Christie said that it is safe to reopen schools, and current data available reinforce this argument.
“Data from reopened classrooms don’t show the rapid spread that has been observed in congregate living facilities and high-density work sites,” the former governor said.
“CDC researchers looked at more than 90,000 students in 11 North Carolina districts and found that only 32 students and staff members were infected in school,” Christie said. “In the same period, 773 got infected outside school.”
Christie noted that union members are demanding vaccine priority — but not promising to return to the classrooms after receiving vaccination. “Unions in California are demanding shots before returning to work and some say they may not return even after vaccination,” Christie said.
He said that union leadership is pushing these policies:
Again adults are placing their own interests ahead of the interests of the children. It’s the unions and their leaders who are doing this, not the rank-and-file members. Numerous courageous teachers have spoken out against the union position.
“The long-term mental-health effects and educational deficits created by continuing this policy will be devastating,” Christie said. “It’s time to put our children’s interests first in this pandemic.”
IMAGE: Merrimack College/Flickr