For months, teacher unions across the country have pressured school boards and education officials to keep schools closed to daily in-person instruction. In North Carolina, the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) has waged a similar campaign with social media posts and emails that say “Who decides when schools reopen? We do.”
Last night, via a Zoom meeting. NCAE members discussed the “power that they have” and how to pressure N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen on an upcoming Zoom event over her plans to open NC schools to in-person instruction.
NCAE vice president Bryan Proffitt says COVID is “a political crisis” and urges members to “phone bank” to get more people on “their side.” Wake County NCAE leader Kristin Beller says they are developing “plans” to get around the district’s vote to reopen.
During the discussion, certain members conflate Phase 3 venue capacity rules with school guidance. There is no mention of the low infection rates and the low virus load of children of different ages. They discussed how to collect information on schools that aren’t following capacity rules or guidelines and “report it” back to the NCAE.
“It’s a question of power,” said Proffitt about keeping schools open or closed, adding that they have no power when it comes to “data” and “accountability.” Profitt also said they need to assess if they have “adequate power to force the question” on school closures and “enough forces to fight back.” He then shows how deep a hold the NCAE has on individual schools, citing that Beller has “192 buildings” under her in Wake County and control of “maybe 140” that she can get surveys and data out of, with an “immediate response” from 60. Profitt calls Wake County NCAE one of our “strongest and most developed locals.”
Profitt then complains the district voted to open anyway despite his own unverified claim there are “all these principals saying it’s not time to open it [the district]” and “thousands” of teachers say they don’t want to open. Profitt talks about the importance of “power,” and references the example of Wake County where the NCAE is not “top of the list” in that district’s decision to open. He says the NCAE needs to go “pebble by pebble” and “slow build” support to change decisions like Wake County’s.
Remember, the NCAE, through its radical protest arm Organize 2020, has launched multiple campaigns to keep schools closed, including “Our Schools, Our Safety, Our Say.”
Some related reads on the NCAE from Dr. Terry Stoops at the John Locke Foundation:
- NCAE: As children struggle, we play political games
- Takeaways from Cooper’s call with NCAE members
- NCAE strategy: “Tapping into re-entry anxiety” pivoting “into electoral mobilization”
- NCAE invites members to donate to the Biden/Harris campaign
From Bob Luebke, at Civitas Institute:
- NCAE: Time for a closer look, Part I
- NCAE: Time for a closer look, Part II
- It’s difficult to ignore the troubles at NEA/NCAE — but folks keep trying
And a few recent hits from this website: