By now, you’re probably fed up with talking about school shutdowns. And frankly, we’re getting fed up with fighting the left on this issue. But leave it to the teachers’ unions and RedforEd to call for more school shutdowns right before students returned from their winter break.

Once again, they’d rather play politics than truly trust the science. After all, we’ve been dealing with this pandemic for almost two years and with that comes data. So, what do we know? A microscopic 0.2 percent of deaths from COVID-19 have come from individuals under the age of 20 in Arizona. At the time this article was written, the total number of reported COVID fatalities for that age range was 54.

While death of any sort is heartbreaking, these numbers prove that COVID is no more dangerous for children than the seasonal flu. But the teachers’ unions and RedforEd just can’t help themselves—because, as usual, it’s always about them.

A Call for More Shutdowns

Leading the charge for a return to remote learning this time around are Rebecca Garelli and Joe Thomas, both of whom were key players in the establishment of RedforEd. Garelli, who relocated to Arizona after being awarded a position working for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, has been all over Twitter calling for a minimum two-week pause for in-person learning across the nation.

Two weeks to stop the spread…where have we heard that before? It will probably work out just as well as it did the first time, right?

The reality is that the teachers’ unions want two weeks now, then two more weeks, and then two more…It never stops. You would think they would’ve learned their lesson after some of the backlash they’ve received. But perhaps they forgot about how some school districts paid a pretty hefty price last year after teachers threatened to strike and staged other publicity stunts like “sick outs.” And maybe they’re in denial about this past November’s election when most of the bonds and overrides affecting Arizona school districts in suburban areas failed.

But RedforEd and the teachers’ unions keep doubling down on their behavior. That’s why it’s critical to take every race in this next election seriously—from Governor to U.S. Senate to your local school board. But we can’t wait around for 11 months to do something. And that’s why Governor Ducey’s move earlier this week to protect parents and students from more school shutdowns is essential.

Governor Ducey’s Preemptive Action

Arizona’s governor didn’t waste any time responding to the demand from teachers’ unions to return to remote learning. As students headed back to school on Monday following their winter break, Governor Ducey made it clear that in-person learning will continue in Arizona.

But then he followed that up with action.

On Tuesday, the governor announced that he is making up to $7,000 available for families who may face financial or educational barriers due to unexpected school closures. With this new program, if a school closes for even one day, students and families who meet the income requirements will have access to funds for childcare, school-coordinated transportation, online tutoring, and school tuition.

That’s a step in the right direction. And it’s one everyone should be able to get behind. Children have suffered so much during this pandemic. They’ve lost educational opportunities, athletic opportunities, social engagements, and more. Even The New York Times acknowledged the damage done to kids over the past two years. Now, students deserve leaders who will put them first. And that begins with giving them and their parents the freedom to choose in-person learning.

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