A House investigative panel wants to hear from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, about her role in keeping schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, invited Weingarten on Tuesday to testify at a hearing scheduled for April 26.
The COVID-19 panel is investigating what role teachers’ unions played in the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools closed longer than many experts said was necessary.
Weingarten’s American Federation of Teachers is the nation’s second-largest teachers union, after the National Education Association.
Wenstrup’s invitation to Weingarten follows a subcommittee hearing in which expert witnesess—including Democrats’ sole witness—were critical of the decision to keep schools closed. Most European countries opened up schools again much earlier, since younger people are less vulnerable to the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The title of the hearing is: ‘The Consequences of School Closures, Part 2: The President of the American Federation of Teachers Ms. Randi Weingarten,’” Wenstrup informs Weingarten in his letter inviting the testimony of the union president. “This hearing will examine the consequences of pandemic-era school closures and the involvement of yourself and the American Federation of Teachers in those closures.”
The AFT did not respond to phone and email inquiries from The Daily Signal about whether Weingarten would appear voluntarily.
Weingarten is a 30-year veteran of union organizing who taught for one semester as a full-time teacher, according to the Washington-based Capital Research Center. A lawyer, she previously was president of the United Federation of Teachers, a competing union to the AFT. Weingarten became president of the American Federation of Teachers in 2008. She receives an annual salary topping $500,000.
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