The school war

Jay Weber:

Ladies and gentlemen — Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald was genius, [Tuesday], as he laid down a marker on school reopening with the Governor.

This was genius and important move.

This came after Tony Evers told reporters he has no secret plan to close the schools …

And that comes — after we republicans and conservatives insisted this could be his next step. And it is. If he can pull it off. Trust me.

Gov. Evers has had WEAC and the five largest teachers’ unions in the state pressuring him for two weeks now- to force all classes on-line in fall. Not just in public schools- which are the schools these putrid unions represent-

But also private and parochial schools. The unions want to keep the schools closed to play cheap political games and help the democrats keep a blanket on the economy….until trump is voted out …

But they also don’t want to risk parents pulling their kids out of public schools and sending them somewhere else —  or — or — this is the bigger risk for the unions —

They don’t want a bunch of bad publicity and a PR war as the private and parochial kids go to school as normal in fall and thrive … as none of the kids get sick and the nanny-state worries are debunked.

Imagine if — by election day — if one set of schools was in nearly full operation and the kids were thriving and healthy and back with their friends and teachers…as MPS, Kenosha, and a bunch of the public schools had stayed closed and were still doing half-assed distance learning on line?

What a PR nightmare that would be for our public schools and the local school board members who are pro-union.so that’s what these union leaders are really worried about: if they are going to help out the democrat party and keep the public schools closed-they want assurances that their brand won’t be tarnished any more than it already is.

And so that is why the unions are pressuring Tony Evers to close all schools in fall and Gov. Evers was the state DPI head forever-and owes his entire adult career to the teachers unions.

They even shoveled over half a million dollars into his run for Governor.

And so — of course-Tony Evers is inclined to close down the schools … and i am certain … is planning to. And the issue has now gotten tangled up in his statewide mask mandate … which some Republicans want to repeal … and others don’t.

But as I said Monday — when i laid out both Fitz and Vos’s thinking —

One thing they are unified on is — if Gov. Evers moves to close down the schools via executive order — they will immediately reconvene the legislature and block that move.

This is a given-according to what Fitz and Vos have told me over the last few days. Gov. Evers will not get away with closing all WI schools via executive order and that’s the hill to die on, if it comes to that.

Not the mask order.

So — this had reporters asking Gov. Evers yesterday: do you plan to close down the schools?

To which he replied. Quote … I have no secret plan.

Okay … but that’s not a yes or no answer … to the question.

And so it is important to lay down the marker. As Fitz did. Because Tony Evers has lied to us … or ‘changed his mind’ … numerous times before and on the covid-19 issue alone.

Remember — Gov Evers said he had no plans to implement a state-wide shelter-in-place order … and then … less than a week later, he did it.

Evers said he had no plans to extend that lockdown order and then he did.

Evers said he had no plan to close the schools in spring when covid-19 hit and then he did.

And of course — for weeks — Gov. Evers said he had no plan to issue a statewide mask mandate- right up to the moment that he did it.

So Tony Evers has lied, or at least ‘changed his mind’, several times now. On covid-19 alone.

Evers said he had no authority to postpone the April 7 election. And then he attempted to.

And so — when he trotted out this claim on having no plan to close the schools-it was great that Scott Fitzgerald pushed back. Fitzgerald put out a statement a short while later, saying:

“I appreciate the governor’s statements that support in-person instruction, but actions speak louder than words. Earlier this spring, the governor flip-flopped on whether to issue a stay-at-home order. He flip-flopped on whether to move the April 7th Election,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m fearful that he will cave to pressures from liberal groups and backtrack once again.”

This seems like a minor thing. It’s not.

By issuing that statement, Scott Fitzgerald got statewide coverage and drew all sorts of attention to what the governor said … that it otherwise wouldn’t have received.

It is now — officially noted — that Governor Evers said he wasn’t going to close down Wisconsin’s schools in one fell swoop.

Everyone heard it — or heard about it.

And that is a very good strategic move, given that we know —

We know — the teachers unions have been exerting so much pressure on Tony Evers that he will do their bidding if he has an opening.

One of the arguments against having republicans challenge the mask mandate is — it gives Gov. Evers a way to scapegoat them as he closes down the schools.

The scenario is simple: the GOP forces repeal of the mask mandate … so Evers’ team watches the covid-19 numbers and waits for the next slight uptick between now and Labor Day.

And then says, see? See? Those damn republicans! Their repeal of the mask mandate has led to a new spread and now the governor has no choice but to close the schools. Blame it on them. Evil republicans.

I tell yah — this is what Evers and his evil handlers would wait for if the GOP repeals this mask mandate.

Evers needs the opening. The excuse. To shut down schools. That’s all he needs and the GOP shouldn’t offer themselves up as a convenient one.

In fact — if they allow the mask mandate to stay in place, and then Evers closes schools anyway, yet again, the Republicans will have the high ground.

They will be able to say: look, we let the illegal mask mandate stand, in part, so that we could get the kids safely back to school. But if you are going to close the schools anyway, then we’ll vote to block both items.

That’s how the Republicans should play this.

They already have Evers in a bit of a box when it comes to trying to close down the schools now — but Fitz planted a flag yesterday that everyone in Wisconsin could see:he got Evers ‘on record’ in every newspaper and TV station in Wisconsin: say what now, governor?You promise not to close schools?

Can you say that into the microphone for posterity, sir?

That’s what Fitz’s action was. It makes it far more difficult for Evers to simply ‘change his mind’ in a week or two and order all schools closed in service to his union masters.

And as for this idea that parents are worried about covid-19.

The left wing blogs are pushing this idea that parents are afraid to send their kids to school and the GOP and trump will be harmed by forcing this —

Bull plop.

All of these districts are taking parental surveys. And even in MPS, most parents said get my kid back to class. I think it was about a 60/40 mix.

And every poll i have seen out of every suburban district puts it at about 70/30 or better.

West Bend just polled their district.7 in ten parents said they want their kid back in school.

I believe Waukesha’s ratio was about the same.

Hey — in Waunakee — which is near Madison — the school board just reversed itself on an ‘all virtual’ opening after parents complained.

In the school district where I live, 80 percent of parents, who were surveyed twice, want their kids in school buildings.

And as local people of good will agonize over this decision on whether to reopen schools … the top democrats and union heads know the health risks are all bologna.

Seriously.

They know this is all about politics.

Some unions aren’t even really trying to keep it a secret. We have seen the LA, NY, and Chicago teachers unions all play extortion games that have nothing to do with covid-19.

They have reopening demands such as: we won’t reopen schools until the police are defunded. Until charter schools are outlawed. Until low income rents and mortgages are canceled and forgiven.

In Chicago: we won’t go back to class until the history curriculum is scrapped.

Honestly. This is a coordinated effort between the teachers union and Dem state lawmakers: we need to cancel history class because it only teaches about old white men, and their greatness. So … if you want the public school teachers back in class …

It’s extortion and has nothing to do with covid-19. The teachers unions are using covid-19 and our children’s education-as a political weapon.

And few things are more putrid.

This is truly awful, unconscionable stuff, people.

I don’t particularly have confidence in legislative GOP leadership. People have also forgotten that the state Supreme Court decision overturning Safer at Home specifically excluded schools, and indeed school buildings stayed closed through the end of the 2019–20 school year. So I’m not sure if Evers did close schools a reversal is legally likely.

 

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