Within a roughly two-month period, the heads of the three largest public school districts in the country have all resigned, as reported by Breitbart.
The most recent resignation comes from Chicago, where the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Janice Jackson, announced her resignation on Monday. After serving for nearly three years in the position, Jackson declared that it was time to “pass the torch to new leadership.” Under Jackson’s command, CPS began clashing with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Ill.) over the issue of whether or not schools should return to in-person learning, with Lightfoot attributing the constant stalemates and delays to the union’s “aspirations,” which she said are more “akin to a political party” than a union.
With her resignation, Jackson claimed that she “felt proud and humbled, and also a little tired.”
CPS is the third-largest school district in the country. Several weeks prior to Jackson’s resignation, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced his resignation from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the nation. Beutner, who also began serving in 2018, said with his resignation that “I believe it is fitting that a new superintendent should have the privilege of welcoming students back to school in the fall.”
Back in February, the head of the nation’s largest school district also announced his resignation: Richard Carranza, the chancellor of New York City Schools. Carranza, who is originally from Arizona, released a statement saying that “I am a New Yorker – not by birth, but by choice – a New Yorker who has lost 11 family and close childhood friends to this pandemic. And a New Yorker who, quite frankly, needs to take time to grieve.”
The high-profile resignations reflect a rising sentiment across the country among American parents against school districts, education officials, and teachers’ unions amidst the ongoing pandemic. When the lockdowns first began in March of 2020, virtually all schools in the nation were shut down before eventually transitioning to online learning. But as the lockdowns for schools continued, often at the behest of teachers’ unions who forced districts to bend to their will, parents increasingly began protesting the continued lockdowns and demanding students be allowed to return to in-person learning.