The new year began with a spate of public school closures, echoing the worst days of the coronavirus epidemic when schools shuttered classrooms and went to all-remote instruction.

That was then – before the wide availability of free and effective vaccines, but after a massive failure to expand testing for new variants.

What else is happening? As Matt Welch writes, public sector unions are making staffing matters even worse in places like New York City:

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, in between burnishing her false credentials as a champion of reopening (and/or casually implying that Republicans are latent fascists), has been making her usual “everyone wants schools open in person…but” statements, “closely monitoring” the situation in New York City, where the AFT-affiliated union tried and failed to convince new Mayor Eric Adams to delay the return of school.

Such actions only add more reasons for parents to seek out alternative means of educating their kids – embracing those that suit them best, and deliver the results they want.

In places like Chicago, where options may be hard to come by, there’s the old-fashioned legal option to at least get public school teacher unions to honor their contracts:

A group of Chicago parents have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Teachers Union, calling…school closures an “illegal strike” and demanding that teachers return to school for in-person learning. The lawsuit was filed…by attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center, a national nonprofit law firm that fights for students’ educational rights.

More than 300,000 students were locked out of Chicago Public Schools…after unionized teachers refused to teach in-person. Not only is the strike illegal under Illinois law, it also violates the union’s own contract.

Again: more choice, more options, more competition — less labor strife. All good things that could be made eve better if education dollars follow kids, and not the ZIP-code defined districts they reside in.