The American Federation of Teachers launched a $500,000 ad campaign Monday blaming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for holding up funding to get schools safely reopened during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Hill.
The new coronavirus stimulus bill is expected to contain funding for K-12 schools, but negotiations for that measure have stalled. And none of the four executive orders signed by Trump this weekend include funding for education.
The AFT ads launched Monday and air online in the Washington, D.C., media market on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC for one week. National TV ads will air on CNN starting Wednesday.
"This virus pauses for no one," the ad's narrator says. "Pass a comprehensive coronavirus relief package now."
AFT President Randi Weingarten in a statement accused McConnell of hypocrisy in calling for schools to reopen.
"For more than two months, Mitch McConnell and the White House have been shouting that they want schools and the economy to reopen while shamefully sitting on their hands and refusing to act on an actual relief package," Weingarten said.
"Signing executive orders that don't address our real needs, including support for schools and child care, while effectively cutting unemployment and threatening Social Security, is a cynical and cruel political ploy," Weingarten added.
AFT has called for its members to go on strike if school systems do not provide equipment to teachers in classrooms to protect against coronavirus. That includes contact tracing, mandatory masking, and improved ventilation systems.
McConnell proposed $105 billion for schools in his first $1 trillion measure in July. That number came in well under the $175 billion Senate Democrats proposed in late June for protective equipment and improved virtual learning.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.