August 10, 2022 Updated 11:42 A.M. ET
SAINT PETERSBURG (FLV) – Democrat candidate for Florida governor Charlie Crist bragged of a $500,000 donation from the American Federation of Teachers.
“It is deeply meaningful that our campaign’s single largest donation comes from the teachers who are working so hard to give our kids a bright future,” Crist said. The union’s president is Randi Weingarten, someone who has gone on record in favor of authoritarian COVID-19 policies.
“Randi Weingarten’s money is no good here. Florida’s school children exceled because Republicans refused to listen to her,” RNC spokeswoman Julia Friedland said.
Weingarten said that making vaccines mandatory for students is something she supports.
“Our California federation has [declared support for vaccine mandates]… and, you know, generally I believe that we [the national union] will take that position,” she said on CNN.
On MSNBC, Weingarten said that children should only be allowed to take their masks off when there is no remaining COVID transmission.
“Is the spread low enough so that there’s no dissemination or transmission in schools?” she said in regards to supporting an ‘offramp’ to forced child masking.
The president of the union also refused to commit to reopening schools in 2021, saying, “we’re going to try.”
Crist himself said on CNN that Florida should institute mask mandates and lockdowns again, criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ vow to never lock the state down.
The Atlantic characterized lockdowns, isolation, and mask mandates as the “biggest disruption in the history of American education” as many students were not able to read social cues, concentrate, or engage in normal social interaction. Other reporting explains how COVID restrictions on children did more harm than good.
Large due to anti-lockdown policies, DeSantis’ administration’s actions resulted in higher than expected school grades.
“From Spring 2021 to Spring 2022, it’s clear that our teachers and school leaders used every resource at their disposal to lift Florida’s students well beyond expectations,” said Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.
“We know that these results are thanks to policies that kept schools open and kept kids in the classroom, which has been widely recognized as critical to student achievement. Today we can celebrate these incredible results, while continuing to support the schools that are struggling. With Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida will continue to support our great teachers and implement world class instructional and educational supports to uplift Florida’s education family.”
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