Teachers Union Boss Gets New Gig In Biden Admin & It's Very Concerning
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is facing criticism from Republican lawmakers after appointing Randi Weingarten, the leader of the American Federation of Teachers, to the Homeland Security Academic Partnership Council (HSPAC).
Weingarten was appointed as one of the twenty members to the HSPAC, one of the two U.S. federal agencies selecting a 30-member panel. The Council is meant to provide “actionable recommendations” for Secretary Mayorkas regarding school safety and security, information sharing on threats of violence and terrorism, and funding opportunities.
In making the announcement, Mayorkas stated, “I am grateful to each of the twenty Council members I am appointing today for their willingness to serve, and I look forward to receiving their guidance and recommendations.”
Lawmakers struck back as they felt Weingarten shouldn’t be rewarded after her work towards keeping schools closed during the pandemic. Republicans have consistently claimed that Weingarten and her union counteracted the President and Secretary of Education in hastily returning students to classrooms. They expressed their concern over the decision on Twitter, including Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio who tweeted, “This is wrong. Randi Weingarten has been an advocate for keeping public schools closed. At a time when kids are falling behind, she was one of the loudest voices promoting school closures. Disrespectful of America’s students & parents.”
The past year has caused immense psychological and academic strain for America’s children. Schools’ failure to properly reopen has resulted in a noticeable learning loss across the country. Children have become isolated, and numerous reports have emerged involving an increase in the number of suicidal thoughts among students. The council’s first public meeting is expected to take place in the coming months, but the question of trust remains.
Public education advocates have been critical of the appointment. They expressed their concern regarding the decision to appoint Weingarten, believing this could have far-reaching implications on reopening schools. The organization “The 74,” which promotes education reform initiatives, acknowledged that while this act “may not be inherently objectionable,” it speaks to the difficulty in putting past disagreements aside when it comes to responding to pandemic-related issues.
The ability of lawmakers to weather past disagreements and see past political agendas will decide the future education of America’s youth. Secretary Mayorkas’s appointment of Randi Weingarten to the HSPAC remains controversial amongst Republican officials, and it will be the job of the council to ensure the best student's education going forward.