Inslee Press Conference Used As a ‘Punch’ to Teacher’s Unions?
Gov. Inslee included a number of comments from Mayor Jenny Durkin during his press conference Thursday. Durkin went on for some time talking about Seattle none of which really had any bearing on any other area of the state--including us.
Both Inslee and Durkin made numerous references to the need to get children back into classrooms, repeatedly making pointed comments clearly aimed at teachers unions.
Inslee began by touting nearly half of K-6 elementary students are back in school, many of them hybrid. While Tri-City area students are back in MS and HS, much of the west side including Seattle are not. Inslee mentioned his 'tour' of elementary schools, but that was mostly on the West side.
A 50% return rate for elementary students is not exactly that great. Data earlier this week shows we're 47th in the US with only 19.2 percent of K-12 students back in class.
Senator Reuven Carlyle spent a number of minutes going on about climate change, and budgets and schools, but offered nothing really of substance.
Inslee then talked about the vaccine average, claiming just over 43K vaccinations per day. He spoke of various vaccination sites on the west side.
Inslee says by March 22, will enter 2nd tier of Phase 1B, the next round of eligibility. Assuming supplies increase it will allow ag, food processing, grocery, firefighters, law enforcement and other workers being able to get vaccinated.
By Mid-April 12 another round of eligibility people 50 and older with certain conditions will be eligible, such as heart disease, or diabetes. Then later in April those 16 and older with similar conditions will become eligible (April 26). It will include homeless persons.
The State Health Director Umair Shah also did a lengthy segment about vaccines, upcoming plans and other vaccination related items.
Inslee was asked about the Seattle Teachers Union, who voted Wednesday night to not return to in person schooling, defying an order from the District.
Inslee said he was an advocate for teachers, and praised remote learning, but there is a certainty about learning loss from the issues of remote learning. He said a combination of remote learning and in class can be done safely. He said decision do need to make decisions based upon what we know now, which is in class is safe.
A long answer, but essentially saying these teachers need to return.
NO mention made of any Phase 3 advancements, or the economy, or business.