CTA and CFT Presidents on Why Schools Should Not Rush to Reopen

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Chairs, desk and other school furniture is stacked outside a classroom at a public elementary school in Glendale, California just north of Los Angeles, August 17, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

One of the most powerful voices in the debate over whether and when to reopen schools during the pandemic has been teachers unions. Unions have argued that school districts shouldn’t rush to reopen because they say it endangers the health and safety of teachers.  But that stance has angered many parents and public officials as data mounts on the toll of remote learning on kids’ physical and mental health. We talk with the heads of the state's two largest teachers unions about what the recent surge in COVID-19 cases may mean for reopening Bay Area schools and about the frustration expressed by many over the power of teachers unions to keep classrooms shuttered.


E. Toby Boyd, president, California Teachers Association

Jeff Freitas, president, California Federation of Teachers