State Representative Chavez: Teachers Unions Have Gone Too Far With School Closures

January 8, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

After nearly two years of ever-changing pandemic protocols, it appears that some members of the Democratic Party and teachers unions disagree with remote learning as a viable mitigative strategy for COVID-19. State Representative César Chávez (D-Maryvale) commended Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s insistence that “enough is enough” with distance learning for K-12.

“Mayor Lightfoot’s statement is commendable,” wrote Chávez. “We have wedged a gap within a generation of children that might never obtain the lost curriculum due to the pandemic. We need to stop politicizing this situation, roll up our sleeves, and get these kids back in school.”

Chávez’s commentary provoked Arizona Education Association (AEA) President Joe Thomas to ask, “Was your account hacked?” Thomas has been one of the principal activists pushing for remote learning coming off of the holidays. As AZ Free News reported, Thomas was one of the individuals responsible for launching the RedforEd movement. 

Chávez joined the likes of Governor Doug Ducey with his stance on remote education. Following the organized push by teachers unions to close schools, Ducey pledged that in-person education would continue for all of Arizona. To back his promise, Ducey announced that families could receive up to $7,000 if their child’s school faces unexpected closures.

For that, former state representative and current attorney general candidate Diego Rodriguez called Ducey “the worst governor in Arizona history.” It appears that Chávez wouldn’t be at odds only with his former colleague — other Arizona Democrats signaled support for teachers demanding remote learning.

State Representative Mitzi Epstein (D-Ahwatukee) asserted that she supported school closures; the Arizona House Democrats agreed with her remarks. State Representative Kelli Butler (D-Paradise Valley) excoriated Ducey for “punishing” schools if they decided to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

State Representatives Athena Salmon (D-Tempe) and Andrea Dalessandro (D-Sahuarita) insisted that teachers have “safe environments” in which to teach. Likewise, State Senator Juan Mendez (D-Tempe) retweeted commentary criticizing Ducey for jeopardizing children. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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