Teachers Union switches stance, now endorses CDC guidance on school reopenings

The head of the powerful American Federation of Teachers blessed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent revision of social distancing in schools after initially saying it didn’t take into account the unique challenges facing the country’s urban schools and was made after mounting pressure from interest groups rushing to reopen schools for in-person learning.

“There remain some within-school tough logistical issues to work out, and some real concerns around ventilation, but today’s letter made a compelling case,” Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, wrote to local leaders after the CDC provided answers to a series of questions she posed about the revised guidance. “Personally, their response has eased my concerns with the physical distancing guidance change.”

The 1.7 million member teachers union draws much of its membership from the urban school districts, which serve more than 8 million children and have been hit hardest by the coronavirus and slowest to reopen for in-person learning more than a year after the onset of the pandemic.

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