As the nationwide debate over reopening schools raged, teachers' unions gave overwhelmingly to Democratic political candidates.
Two of the nation's largest teachers' unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, gave almost entirely to Democratic candidates versus Republican candidates, according to Open Secrets. In 2020, at the same time that parents were fighting for schools to reopen, 98.29 percent of political donations from AFT went to Democratic candidates while just 0.26 percent went to Republicans. NEA, similarly, gave 95.17 percent of its donations to Democrats while just 2.21 percent went to Republicans.
"For those wondering why Senate Democrats would prioritize teachers unions over the well-being of students, the answer is simple: Follow the money," the National Republican Senatorial Commitee said in a statement on Wednesday. "The nation’s two largest teachers unions – were funneling mountains of cash to Democrat campaign organizations and candidates all while these same organizations fought to keep schools closed."
In a statement to Fox News, American Federation of Teachers spokesperson Oriana Korin slammed Republicans for not supporting President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which included billions of dollars for schools. The plas was roundly criticized by Republicans, however, for including items they said had nothing to do with responding to Coronavirus.
"So AFT’s frontline educators, school staff, nurses and other workers have no doubts about who’s on their side when it comes to safe, equitable in-person reopening, which is something we’ve been working on since the start of this pandemic," Korin said.
Jonathan Zachreson, who helps the lead the group Reopen California Schools, spoke with Fox News about teachers' unions "control" over embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who now faces a recall election later this year.
"We also have a situation where unions have a lot of control over our governor and pretty much every step of the way has conceeded to what the unions wanted."
"Unions are absolutely not following the science" when it comes to reopening schools, Zachreson said, citing educators' insistence on maintaining six feet of distance in classrooms instead of three feet, which the CDC has now recommended.
Zachreson slammed the American Rescue Plan, which Korin referenced, since the legislation did not tie money for schools to reopening.
"That should have been a contingency but it wasn't," Zachreson told Fox News.
The National Education Association did not return a request for comment in time for publication.