Pennsylvania IFO Study: Labor Force Down by 120,000 Since Year Before COVID

A report released this week by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) indicates that 120,000 fewer residents are working or actively seeking work than in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The study showed the state’s labor force participate rate (LFPR) for those aged 16 and older to be 63 percent in May 2019 and to have declined to 61.9 percent one year later. That percentage has continued gradually decreasing — to 61.8 percent in May 2021 and to 61.7 percent two months ago.

Read More

Commentary: Establishment Pundits Wildly Underestimate How Much COVID Policies Hurt Democrats

Voters appear poised to clobber the party that brought us COVID lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, and inflation. Indeed, rising inflation has largely resulted from COVID-related disincentives to work, disrupted supply chains, and blowout spending, along with federal restrictions on oil and gas production. It’s perhaps surprising, therefore, that the Cook Political Report foresees Republican gains in the House of Representatives as being only “in the 15-25 seat range,” while its projections suggest that Democrats have at least a coin flip’s chance of holding the Senate.

Read More

Minneapolis Teachers Union President: ‘Our Fight Is Against Patriarchy, Capitalism’

Greta Callahan, president of the teachers’ chapter of the striking Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), told members rallying at the state capitol Wednesday, “Our fight is against patriarchy, our fight is against capitalism, our fight is for the soul of our city.”

The teachers union and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) remain at a stalemate on a new contract, Patch reported.

Read More

Teachers Unions Ramped Up the Donations to Dems as They Pushed Their School Closing Policies

Randi Weingarten at AFGE

One of the largest teachers unions in the country donated $2 million to the left-wing Senate Majority Political Action Committee in 2021 after the Democratic Party voted against reopening public schools, according to data from the National Republican Senatorial Committee provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

On March 6, 2021, Senate Democrats unanimously voted against a Republican amendment to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that would have ensured school reopening dollars were allocated to education institutions prioritizing in-person learning. Schools that were working to provide in-person learning for students five days a week would have been given full funding under the bill, while those that were completely closed would only get 25% of its allocated funding.

Read More

Michigan K-12, Colleges Shift to Virtual Learning Amid Omicron, Affecting 100,000

Twenty-two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, some schools and colleges say they will shift to virtual learning amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, which will affect more than 100,000 students.

Detroit Free Press reporter Sally Tato tweeted a list of schools with delayed schedules or shifting to virtual learning briefly (estimated student population added):

Read More

As Virginia Public Schools Struggle to Reopen, Thales Academy Sees Strong Start to School Year

Many public schools in Virginia won’t start until the end of August, but Thales Academy in Glen Allen is already off to a strong start for the 2020-2021 school year.

Thales, which is a private school with campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, started their school year on July 20.

Read More

Governor Bill Lee: ‘I Urge Every School District in Tennessee to Close As Soon As Practically Possible’

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee said Monday that he wants all school districts in the state to close as soon as possible and to remain closed until the end of this month.

“As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest. Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31,” Lee said in a statement.

Read More