Senator Wiger Responds to Republican Attacks on Minnesota’s Teachers

In remarks delivered Tuesday, Republican leadership in both the House and Senate blamed Minnesota’s teachers and Governor Walz for keeping students out of the classroom, ignoring not just the unprecedented public health emergency facing Minnesota but also the tremendous work that has been done by educators to adapt to this challenge.

In response, ranking DFL-lead on the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) released the following statement: 

“Today’s comments from Republican leaders blaming Minnesota’s educators for keeping kids out of the classroom are beyond the pale. Our educators, as well as our students and families, have made tremendous sacrifices to meet the challenges demanded of them during this public health emergency that is COVID-19. They remain laser-focused on delivering a high-quality education for every student in as safe a manner as possible.

My colleagues in the Senate had multiple opportunities throughout the summer and fall, including seven special sessions, to introduce legislation, hold hearings, and pass an alternative plan that would safely allow children to return to the classroom. They did not do so. We should all be working together to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects it has had on learning, not playing politics. 

Minnesotans want their kids back in the classroom, but they want it done safely. Instead of using our teachers as a boogeyman, we should be working with them to ensure we are giving every student in Minnesota, regardless of their zip code or what they look like, a high-quality and safe education.

I will continue to do my part to work with my colleagues across the aisle and in the House to address the real issues facing our students, their families, and our educators. I support Governor Walz’s transparent and good faith efforts to find common ground that prioritize a high-quality education for our students. ”

Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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