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The nation’s second-largest teachers union will on Thursday finally call for all US schools to fully reopen by the next academic year.
“There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week,” American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten will say, according to prepared remarks given to the New York Times.
Weingarten — whose union has 1.7 million members and previously lobbied to put the brakes on getting kids back in classrooms — plans to admit that re-opening is “not risk-free.”
But “the United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in,” she will say, according to the Times.
Weingarten will make the full remarks at 11 a.m. Thursday, she said.
“With the challenges of COVID-19, economic dislocation, the Jan. 6 insurrection, climate change, racism and inequality, the importance of public schooling has never been clearer,” the AFT president said ahead of her speech.
“We can and must take the necessary steps to safely, physically return to full in-person learning.
“We must put in place the support systems to help students recover socially, emotionally and academically.
“We must reimagine what and how students learn, so we can create opportunities for every child. And we must support educators.”
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