How Teachers' Unions Are Influencing Decisions on School Reopenings
December 4, 2020
Throughout the pandemic, teachers’ unions in many states and large districts have played a powerful role in negotiating school closures and reopenings. And with coronavirus cases surging around the nation, the labor groups are continuing to flex their political muscle, most often pushing for a more conservative approach to getting teachers and kids back in buildings.
While not all districts need to reach an agreement with their unions to resume in-person instruction, they do need teachers to show up. And in many cases, unions are arguing that they do want students to go back, but only when particular safety precautions are in place.
“Teachers’ unions have an outsized voice—you can’t do reopenings without the teachers,” said Bradley Marianno, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who studies educational governance and teachers’ unions.