SF teachers union agreed to let seniors return to classrooms (as part of a scam to get $12 million in funding)

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Every time I think my estimation of teacher’s unions couldn’t be lower, they prove me wrong. Over the weekend, the San Francisco teacher’s union announced it had reached a deal with the school district to bring back seniors starting this Friday, May 14th. Remember that date because it’s important.

Returning to schools Friday could potentially mean students would have just over two weeks of school before schools close up at the beginning of June. Except that’s not what the union and the district have in mind. What they are actually doing is just a straight cash grab.

In what some are calling a blatant money grab, the deal between the district and teachers union will bring seniors back “for at least one day before the end of the school year,” so the city’s public schools can qualify for $12 million in state reopening funds…

Each cohort of students would have two teachers or staff supervising them on campus. Activities might include “end of high school conversations,” or “college and career exploration,” said district officials, who were still working out the cohort size.

Only two high school sites would be made available to seniors, meaning most who do return won’t be at their own school. As of Monday, it was unclear how many students would accept the offer, with the district polling families to see how many of the 4,000 12th graders want to return.

So the students mostly won’t be at their own schools and won’t get any instruction when they show up. They also won’t be there for the full two weeks but at most 1-2 days per week. It’s literally just a time to hang out and shoot the breeze in a classroom.

And the reason this is being opened up this Friday? That’s because the requirement for getting any of the state money is May 15th, i.e. this Saturday. This is literally a plan to bilk the taxpayers by union members and the school district. The state assemblyman who sponsored the legislation says this is cheating:

“It definitely doesn’t meet the spirit of the law,” he said. “Kids were supposed to come back in person. Kids were supposed to come back to learn.”

The goal of the legislation was to get “all the kids back.” But specifically, the law requires opening school for entire middle or high school grade before May 15, “and keeping that grade open all the way to June 2,” Ting said.

I think it’s even worse than it sound. The kids who come back to this faux in-person schooling (where they won’t be taught anything) will presumably be doing that instead of whatever online schooling they are supposed to be doing on those days. So it sounds as if this will actually pull kids away from remote school so they can show up for fake school in person.

Maybe I’m wrong about that. The article doesn’t say and neither does the FAQ about this plan on the district’s website, but I’m not sure how else it could work. Still, it’s pretty revealing that we’ve finally found the one thing that will bring some teachers unions back to classrooms. It’s not the suffering of kids or their families, it’s loads of taxpayer money.

Finally, Jill Tucker’s story ends with this little factoid which highlights just how absurd the union’s refusal to return to classrooms has been. About 20,000 students and staff returned to elementary schools last month. In three weeks there have been 20 cases of COVID among those 20,000 people. None of them, not one, was found to be the result of in-school transmission of the virus.