Teachers union president casts doubt on schools reopening full-time

Teachers union president casts doubt on schools reopening full-time
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Randi Weingarten, president of the prominent American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, said there’s “no way” schools will reopen full-time in the fall, citing lack of funding. 

“There’s no way that you’re going to have full-time schools for all the kids and all the teachers the way we used to have it,” Weingarten said Sunday on John Catsimatidis’s radio show. “Once we have a vaccine, I hope we can get back to that.”

Weingarten said that schools would need massive funding in order to safely continue operating under public health standards.

The School Superintendents Association estimated necessary protective measures in schools would cost an average of about $1.8 million per school district.

The Trump administration has been adamant about reopening schools in the fall, though officials have not indicated that they will provide schools any funding to comply with new federal health guidelines. 

Weingarten said AFT is pushing for more federal funding. 

“And in doing this, not only is there a [need] for retrofitting, for ventilation systems, but also for buying the damned masks for the cleaning equipment, for the nurses that we’re going to need,” Weingarten said. “That’s why we’ve been pushing really hard… To get the [federal] money that states need… to re-open schools.”

Weingarten also slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisUS surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election DeSantis: It's safe to hug with PPE on MORE (R), a staunch Trump ally, who on Thursay compared reopening schools to the reopening of Walmarts and Home Depots.

“I don’t know what happened to his brain, because now he’s comparing Walmart to schools. What I’m concerned about [are] the pronouncements from a DeSantis that seem to deny that the virus exists,” she said.

“Seem to deny that anybody would get hurt.… Teachers now are getting scared.”

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.