After deleting a tweet claiming that the effort to reopen school is “rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,” the Chicago Teachers Union is facing severe backlash, The Washington Examiner reported Monday.
This comes as many schools across the country have returned to exclusively online learning, as COVID-19 cases spike around the country and alarmingly sends the total number of related deaths in the U.S. past 282,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Many parents across the nation, however, have resisted these changes and have called on schools to let children continue learning in person.
According to a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet, it was published on Sunday at 1:03 pm and had accumulated almost 2,000 quote tweets compared to its nearly 600 likes.
The CTU, The Examiner‘s Tyler Van Dyke writes, has published numerous tweets highlighting the growing disparities in health outcomes from the novel coronavirus for people of color. One of their retweets called social distancing a “privilege,” pointing to a study that showed neighborhoods which had “crowded housing or had fewer people who could work from home” and neighborhoods composed predominantly of people of color “saw more COVID-19 deaths,” Van Dyke reports.
“For each additional percentage point of the population that was Black, there was a 32 percent increase in the COVID-19 death rate, and for each additional percentage point of the population that was Hispanic/Latino, there was an 19 percent increase in the COVID-19 death rate,” the study states. “Conversely, neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Asian or white residents saw lower death rates.”
Some critics of the CTU, Van Dyke writes, refer to a California lawsuit launched by seven families who allege that remote learning in the Golden State “left many already-underserved students functionally unable to attend school,” according to The Washington Post. Education advocates have been worrying about remote learning, claiming that it “will widen the achievement gap that separates Black, Latino and poor students from their peers.”
Following the overwhelming criticism they received from the tweet, the CTU posted a tweet on Sunday addressing the controversy, writing that reopening schools was a “complex issue” which “requires nuance” and “much more discussion.”
“Fair enough. Complex issue,” the CTU tweeted. “Requires nuance. And much more discussion. More important, the people and the decision affects deserve more. So we’ll continue [to] give them that.”
Want to read more about this story? Read the full Washington Examiner story here.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Multiple states launch lawsuit against Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan
Breaking Thursday, the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and South Carolina joined together to file a lawsuit against President Biden’s administration in order to stop the student loan-forgiveness program from taking effect.
“In addition to being economically unwise and downright unfair, the Biden Administration’s Mass Debt Cancellation is yet another example in a long line of unlawful regulatory actions,” argued the plaintiffs in their filing.
The attorneys general spearheading the legal challenge also submit that “no statute permits President Biden to unilaterally relieve millions of individuals from their obligation to pay loans they voluntarily assumed.”
Biden, however, has argued that he is able to unilaterally cancel student debt to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, writes National Review, a Department of Education memo released by his administration asserts that the HEROES Act, which passed in 2003 and allows the secretary of education to provide student-debt relief “in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency,” provides the legal basis for the cancellation.
But, National Review notes that the plaintiffs point out that Biden declared in a recent 60 Minutes interview that “the pandemic is over.”
The legal brief also adds:
“The [HEROES] Act requires ED [Education Department] to tailor any waiver or modification as necessary to address the actual financial harm suffered by a borrower due to the relevant military operation or emergency… This relief comes to every borrower regardless of whether her income rose or fell during the pandemic or whether she is in a better position today as to her student loans than before the pandemic.”
Moreover, they argue that the HEROES Act was designed to allow the secretary to provide relief in individual cases with proper justification.
The first lawsuit against Biden’s executive order came Tuesday from the Pacific Legal Foundation:
“The administration has created new problems for borrowers in at least six states that tax loan cancellation as income. People like Plaintiff Frank Garrison will actually be worse off because of the cancellation. Indeed, Mr. Garrison will face immediate tax liability from the state of Indiana because of the automatic cancellation of a portion of his debt,” wrote PLF in their own brief.
The state-led lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Missouri, and asks that the court “temporarily restrain and preliminarily and permanently enjoin implementation and enforcement of the Mass Debt Cancellation,” and declare that it “violates the separation of powers established by the U.S. Constitution,” as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.
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