When Will Schools Reopen? – CPC Newsletter

By Jordan Bruneau
February 12, 2021

Newsom signals school reopening deal coming any day now: On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he’s close to striking a deal with the state’s powerful teachers unions to reopen elementary classrooms. The sticking point is vaccines, which unions are demanding for teachers before they return. Newsom explained that full teacher vaccination before school reopening is not realistic. Expect the forthcoming deal to include a massive transfer of taxpayer dollars to unions — i.e. a payoff — to finally get them to return.

Even Los Angeles is about to hit its school reopening benchmark: The LA Times reported on Wednesday that the LA Covid-19 infection rate is dropping fast enough to meet the state standard for reopening elementary schools as soon as next week. When even Los Angeles, the former national hotspot for Covid deaths, is safe enough to reopen, you know that it’s time to reopen schools statewide.

If Andrew Cuomo were governor of California: A new study by CPC data analyst Brandon Ristoff examines the various competing benchmarks for reopening schools. These include benchmarks from the Harvard Global Health Institute, New York State, and the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH). The conclusion: Many California counties meet some or all of these benchmarks and can begin reopening immediately. An interesting finding in Brandon’s analysis: If Andrew Cuomo were governor of California, 11 percent more of the state’s population would be allowed to reopen schools.

Fed-up teachers can opt-out of union dues: Last week, we highlighted how parents fed-up with classroom closures should pursue their charter school alternatives. Yet many teachers are fed-up as well. They never signed up to be online professors, and many want to do what’s right and get back in classrooms for their kids. This week, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) highlighted how California teachers have a constitutional right to opt-out of paying their union dues – and noted that CPC can help them exercise it. He said he felt compelled to help teachers who want to be back in their classrooms but “are being barred from doing so by their union or by the governor himself.”

Civil war between unions and their political puppets: On the latest episode of National Review’s RadioFree California, CPC President Will Swaim and Board Member David Bahnsen discuss how Gavin Newsom finds himself in a knife fight with the California teachers union that brought him to the governor’s mansion. They also highlight how state lawmakers are giving businesses a new reason to flee California, pushing legislation that would increase “intersectional protections” in the workplace.

Only woke heroes get to be judged by the entirety of their lives: In his latest piece, CPC contributor Larry Sand highlights the hypocrisy inherent in the San Francisco school renaming debacle:

The school board in San Francisco has decided to rename 44 public schools. Abe Lincoln, Paul Revere, Thomas Edison, Daniel Webster, Francis Scott Key, Dianne Feinstein, et al. have been accused of committing anti-woke actions, and are gone. Malcolm X gets a pass, however. The elementary school bearing his name will not undergo a change. Why would a one-time drug dealer, thief, and pimp be exempted? Because the school board said that he should be “judged by the entirety of his life.” The same board never bothered to explain why Abe Lincoln doesn’t get judged the same way. But being fair, logical, or consistent is hardly a requisite for being woke.

Central planning is the road to serfdom: In his latest analysis, CPC contributor Edward RIng explains how central planning has destroyed the Shanra-La that once was California:

There is no reason why Californians cannot have the same opportunities that were available to their grandparents, two generations ago. But they need to recognize that “compassionate” policies that only result in increasing the numbers of homeless people, tragically addicted to drugs and crime, is not compassion. And central planning designed to rescue victims of “disparate outcomes” will merely serve to make everyone oppressed, as it destroys the motivation and ability for people to pursue individual achievement.

Don’t forget about the fees: This week, the Pacific Research Institute released a new study “Government Fees ‘Nickel and Dime’ Californians Out of Hundreds of Dollars Per Year.” It documents the myriad fees that Californians have to pay each year, including several state and local vehicle registration fees that add hundreds of dollars to the cost of purchasing and operating a vehicle. Californians see little in return for paying these fees. For instance, California has been given below-average grades on two recent national report cards for transportation infrastructure, even though the state’s drivers pay the nation’s highest gas taxes and an annual Transportation Improvement Fee.

The LA Times hatchet job on U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: Yesterday, the LA Times ran a hit piece by their star investigative reporter, Paul Pringle, against Rep. McCarthy for the crime of attending his son’s wedding during Covid-19.

There’s really nothing better for the Times to investigative?

Pringle devotes his attention — not to uncovering new information on Covid-19, not to California’s public union thugs who prevent schools from reopening, and not to the myriad other problems facing the state — but to shaming Rep. Kevin McCarthy for his son’s tiny wedding.

Think journalism couldn’t get any lower? Consider: Pringle mined an intimate Facebook video of the wedding for his “Gotcha” story to complain about the bride — the BRIDE! — not wearing a mask. Real investigative journalism talent there. About on par with the hall monitor who tattles on students for chewing gum.

The facts: Kevin McCarthy has never called for a lockdown on all social gatherings. In fact, he’s been critical. His son’s wedding was just several people — all close family. The original 300-person festivity was scrapped. It was outdoors and socially distanced. The staff, including the hairstylist, wore masks. It took place in San Luis Obispo, which hasn’t faced the same Covid consequences as elsewhere in the state. Pringle tries to make the location seem worse than it is by saying it took place in “Southern California” — as if it were occurring at a cramped reception hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Pringle won a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for outing a dirty SoCal gynecologist. Does he have no shame in following up that great reporting up with this hatchet job?

The story was almost surely fed to Pringle via Democratic operatives looking to redirect the conversation away from their own side’s Covid hypocrisy. (See, for instance, Gov. Newsom’s French Laundry affair.) Whataboutism has become politicians’ favorite response to downplay their unforced errors.

Yet this is apples and oranges. Pointing out the “good for thee, not for me” position of Covid restrictionists is totally different than tattling on someone during one of the most intimate moments of their lives.

You’d expect a top investigative reporter to know the difference. Or maybe — after watching the civil war in the New York Times newsroom between old-school liberal journalists and young woke bloggers — Pringle feels he must signal to his younger colleagues that he’s part of their team.

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