Labor disputes between school districts and teachers unions influenced the federal government’s school reopening guidance, emails from Biden administration officials show.
The emails, published by Fox News and obtained by the government accountability organization Americans for Public Trust through a lawsuit, reveal that Biden health officials considered teacher union labor disputes while crafting the guidance on school reopenings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
EMAILS SHOW HIGH-POWERED TEACHERS UNION PRESSURED CDC TO CHANGE SCHOOL REOPENING GUIDANCE
One email shows Michael Baker, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services, assigning several tasks related to the creation of the guidance to agency staff, including directing one agency official to communicate with a White House staffer about “some of the mayor/labor union issues that are ongoing across the country.”
“We need to think about this in the broader context of teacher contract negotiations,” Baker said in the email.
Previous emails released by Americans for Public Trust had shown that the White House, the CDC, and HHS had all coordinated with Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher union, on guidance that directed schools to require universal masking for students.
The latest batch of emails also shows that the White House orchestrated a meeting between CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Pringle.
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Prior emails had shown that the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, had communicated with Walensky and the White House regarding school reopening recommendations and successfully lobbied the CDC to get AFT-backed language into the guidance.